By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Residents of Leblon will feel a new security presence in August, as the Leblon Presente (Leblon Today) program is expected to be launched as a result of a partnership between an area commercial association and the state government.
The plan is to have 124 Leblon Presente agents, who may be civilian and military police officers and professionals from the Armed Forces, patrol Alto Leblon to Avenida Borges de Medeiros.
According to a report by major local news outlet O Globo, The Association of Residents (AMA-Leblon) will be responsible for attracting funding and resources, which will cost about R$10 million per year.
The president of AMA-Leblon, Evelyn Rosenzweig, says that she was contacted by the Coordination of the Segurança Presente Program and by the Secretary of Security last Thursday.
“We had already presented the project to the government at the beginning of the year, with all mappings of places of risk. We were going to sign the agreement, but there was federal intervention [Armed Forces in Rio] and everything was suspended,” said Rosenzweig.
She explains that now, residents and business owners will resume the process of funding the purchase of non-lethal weapons and other equipment to aid the work of the Leblon Presente agents. In one year, Leblon’s private sector will invest R$4 million.
A difference for Leblon Presente will be the technology employed, with the use of 95 cameras on neighborhood streets. It is also planned to use a mobile application called Hot Line, where the victim of a crime can communicate with the agents of the program.
Currently, according to AMA-Leblon, the most common crimes in the region are pedestrian robberies. According to data from the neighborhood association, armed robbers use motorcycles and, in some cases, bicycles, and act mainly on the cross streets of Leblon.
Since 2015, the operations of the program Lapa, Centro, Meiér, Aterro and Lagoa Presente arrested 12,398 people in flagrante and apprehended 1,958 fugitives from justice. There were also more than 55,000 incidents to address homeless people.