July 30, 2014
Granados: municipal police forces bill to pass in 10 days
BA Security Minister criticized for hard-line stance
Buenos Aires province Security Minister Alejandro Granados yesterday promised that the local Legislature will pass a much-debated bill creating municipal police forces in around 10 days.
Granados also announced he would be officially presenting the Community Crime-prevention Centres (CPC) — a local patrol system — on May 30.
During an interview with the Tiempo Argentino daily, Granados — who was appointed last year by Governor Daniel Scioli — said his role was to “reorganize” security forces in the district and that this was the “last chance” for police to come to terms with society.
“The idea is to reorganize (security) forces, to equip them properly, to raise wages,” Granados said. “On May 30 we need to have the 42 CPC working. That’s the deadline agreed on.”
Granados said the goal was to cover a total of 1,050 grids, for which he will need 1,000 new police cars and 7,500 police officers.
But other representatives — even within the ruling Victory Front (FpV) mistrust Granados’ stance on crime.
“These centres are absolutely insufficient,” Nuevo Encuentro provincial lawmaker Marcelo Saín told the Herald last month. “It means patrolling, yes — but without any previous planning, not based on any previous intelligence.”
Saín, a former head of the Airport Security Police (PSA), compared the creation of CPCs to “only taking an aspirin if you have a high fever.”
Sociologist Gabriel Kessler thinks there’s also a budget issue at stake that Granados is choosing to ignore.
“The province has chronic budgetary problems. How are they going to double the police workforce?” Kessler asked himself in reference to the official promise of having a total of 100,000 police across the province within two years.
“They’re trying to sell the illusion of a fully-controlled territory, the idea that crime can only be tackled through patrolling,” Kessler said.
During his 18 years as Ezeiza mayor, Granados proved himself an enthusiast of the “slugs for thugs” approach advocated by former governor Carlos Ruckauf. He was indirectly linked to the murder of Hugo Javier Barrionuevo, a young activist killed by Jorge Bogado, a political operative allegedly working for Granados.
Herald staff with DyN