Mexicali businessmen criticized the City of Mexicali for the lack of resources for police officers like uniforms and boots, while spending funds on vehicles.

Mexicali Employer Confederation President Octavio Sandoval said in a recent press conference that the Police Department spent 7 million pesos or about $350,000 in the purchase of several overpriced vehicles without an RFP.

According to Sandoval, the police bought a 2015 Chevrolet Suburban for 1.7 million pesos that in fact has a cost of about a quarter of the paid price.

Recently, the police admitted that only 65 patrol cars work although the city should have at least 300 vehicles.

Sandoval said the police could have purchased around 15 patrol cars with the funds spent on the SUVs.

Mexicali Mayor Norma Bustamante said one of the purchased vehicles was assigned to her office.

According to the mayor, some of those vehicles are really old. The list includes three 2015 vehicles and a 2017.

City Government Secretary Daniel Valenzuela said the Suburbans bought are armored.

Mexicali Police Chief Pedro Ariel Mendívil said local ordinances allow the city to purchase used vehicles without an RPP.

Mexicali Public Safety Committee Chairman Angel Záizar said the police have no funds to purchase uniforms or boots for police agents.

A police officer anonymously told La Voz newspaper that the boots purchased for agents are generic and easily torn.

The agent told the newspaper that the police have only four patrol cars to serve the northwest area that goes from the Justo Sierra Boulevard in the so-called golden zone to the East Port of Entry and the Airport.

Some of those vehicles have no air conditioning and urgently need new tires and new engines.

Also, patrol car catalytic converters are stolen in the city’s mechanic workshop.

The issue is so critical that police agents have repaired patrol cars themselves.

Assistant Police Chief Carlos Romero confirmed the patrol car issues.

Since the National Regeneration Movement Party won the mayors’ office police agents had received no uniforms, weapons, cartridges or vests, Záizar told the newspaper.

The issue has led law enforcement to stop deploying patrol cars to serve during emergencies.

The committee chairman said during the pandemic the police received face masks and antibacterial gel through businessmen donations.

“This is something serious,” Záizar added. “Without public safety there will be no economic development.”

The committee chairman said city council members do not need advisors and funds to provide help to the needy. At the same time, Záizar said the city does not need to hire 300 employees given the police department situation.

Záizar recalled that businessmen accepted to see their property taxes tripled in order to allow the city to collect about $9 million for law enforcement.

In response, Chief Mendívil explained that the armored vehicles were purchased in order to protect the mayor after the arrest of high-profile criminals in the rural area.

According to the police chief, Sandoval misinformed the public with his statements. Mayor Bustamante said the city purchased 160 patrol cars that had already arrived in Mexicali that are being equipped. The vehicles are expected to operate next month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *