By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – To guarantee security during Sunday’s election, Rio de Janeiro state officials have announced that five thousand extra police agents will be patrolling streets during the second round of elections. Starting on Friday afternoon 35,000 police officers will guard the streets including 455 military police officers at 5,418 polling stations throughout the state.
“We had already planned an increase (in security) for the second round of elections. In the first round we had 15,000 officers in the streets and in this second round we will have 20,000 men,” Coronel Cláudio Costa, public relations officer for the Military Police, told Agencia Brasil.
According to Costa both military and civilian police officers will be patrolling strategic locations throughout the city and helicopters will be available for support if needed. In addition, 1,000 police officers will be on hand at the 37 UPP (Pacifying Police Units) that exist in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
In this second round of presidential elections the states of Ceara, Rio de Janeiro, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Piaui and Mato Grosso have already asked the armed forces for additional help in maintaining the peace at polling stations. In the first round of elections, on October 5th, Rio de Janeiro, along with Maranhão, Paraíba, Tocantins, Pará, Rio Grande do Norte, Mato Grosso, Amazonas, Piauí, Rondônia, and Sergipe, had requested additional security help.
In addition to the Presidential election run-off between incumbent President Dilma Rousseff and opposition candidate Aecio Neves, residents of Rio de Janeiro will also be voting to elect the state’s governor.