By Shalina Chatlani, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In an effort to expand public security in Rio de Janeiro, the state government and the Federation of Commerce of Rio de Janeiro (Fecomércio) signed an agreement (on October 26th) to reproduce the Operação Lapa Presente (Operation Lapa Today) in three more of Rio’s neighborhoods: Aterro do Flamengo, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, and Méier, beginning December 1st.
Government press reports the three areas will be patrolled daily from 6AM to 10PM by a total staff of 370 agents. In Flamengo, the operation will have different opening hours on Sundays, and public holidays will have hours from 7AM to 6PM.
Authorities say the police will work with jackets and stripe ID, so there will be police transparency. Moreover, police actions will be filmed, and teams will also be monitored by GPS.
The Operation was announced during the second edition of the Strategic Map Commerce. Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão believes that the Fecomércio will help authorities expand the policing project.
“Partnering with Fecomércio is in line with our desire to expand the community policing model, by adopting as reference the successful experience implemented in Lapa. The population is who wins,” said governor Luiz Fernando Pezão.
The agreement and partnership with the Fecomércio will last for two years, with the institution financing R$22 million of the operation’s budget. “The aim is to help enhance the sense of national security. Security is clearly a major factor in helping Rio de Janeiro continue its development,” said the president of Fecomércio, Orland Diniz. “For us, it’s time for authorities and entrepreneurs to take part in solutions and not just point toward problems.”
Operaçao Lapa Presente was launched in January 2014 in order to increase security in Lapa, with police officers that receive special training on respecting civilian rights. It has been responsible for multiple arrests for crimes and sheltering an estimated 15,000 homeless people after only one year and four months of its existence, being deemed a success by the authorities.