By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last Saturday, September 30th, the Military Police of Rio’s State launched an operation to reinforce the security in Rio’s beaches, from Flamengo to Recreio. With eight hundred extra police officers patrolling the areas, the effort is part of the 2017-2018 Summer Operation.
Besides the Military Police, also participating in this operation are Rio’s Municipal Guard, the Municipal Bureau of Social Assistance and Human Rights, the Special Bureau for the Public Order and the Bureau of Transports.
The effort includes the approach to suspicious vehicles, both private cars and public buses, and its passengers.
Rio’s Municipal Bureau of Social Assistance and Human Rights will be in charge of evaluating the vulnerability of under-aged suspects and giving them psychological support.
“If this operation aims to protect the democratic use of the beach without a discriminatory or racist character, guaranteeing that everyone can enjoy it safely, it can be good”, says Silvia Miranda, a resident of Flamengo.
For this operation, the Military Police recruited officers that are responsible for large events and tourist areas; the transportation in urban buses and the mounted regiment will also be present in this effort, according to officials.
Additionally, two cars from the Police’s Mobile Command will be based in the beaches of Arpoador, in Ipanema, and Barra da Tijuca, reinforcing the Summer Operation. The Aeromobile Group’s helicopter will be flying over Rio’s beaches and sending images to all the Military Police units in real time.
This strategy’s goal is to optimize time for the action. In order to facilitate theeffort’s communication and integration, Rio’s Municipal Guard and the Military Police will both be tuned in the same radio frequency.
“Such actions certainly do not solve the [entire] problem of security, but… they are not bad either,” says Thierry Attoumo, an entrepreneur from the Ivory Coast who works in the tourism sector and is a Rio resident of fourteen years.
Tourism in the state of Rio de Janeiro lost R$320 million in revenues in the first four months of 2017, according to data compiled by the National Confederation of Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC) in July.
The amount was reported to be equivalent to 42 percent of total sector revenue loss registered in the same period. This is lost revenue that exasperates the financial crisis in the state.