By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Three months after the start of the federal intervention in Rio de Janeiro the mega public security operation is about to enter a new phase, with more military agents and police patrolling the streets, say officials.
“After three months of intervention, the population will see more police officers in the streets. [The police] will also have new weapons, vests and vehicles,” spokesperson for the Federal Intervention Office (GIF in Portuguese), Colonel Roberto Itamar, told reporters of the government-run news agency Agencia Brasil.
According to the spokesperson, the first three months of the intervention were devoted to the diagnosis of the situation, the reorganization of Rio’s security structure, the strengthening of police departments and to conducting changes in the penitentiary system.
Officials at the GIF say these first few months were used to restore the operational capacity of public security agencies and reduce crime rates in the region.
Itamar says that these actions, although not immediately perceived by the population as positive changes, were fundamental for the implementation of the intervention. Now, says the official, with an additional 1,300 officers and 580 new vehicles patrolling the streets the actions of the intervention team the perception of security tends to improve in the coming months.
“The statistical results take a while to appear,” the official explained. “The reduction of various crime rates, which reflect the very sense of security of the population, including street robberies, should be announced very soon,” concluded Itamar.
On Tuesday (May 15th) Brazil’s Congress approved the creation of 67 commissioned posts for the intervention team in Rio and 164 posts for the newly created Ministry of Public Security. These new positions are expected to cost the federal government R$20.9 million this year and R$23.2 million in 2019, according to officials.