“We Will Improve the Police Presence in Nosara” – Juan Jose Andrade, Director of the National Public Force

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Having more police personnel, improving communication to more quickly respond to emergencies and improving infrastructural conditions in Nosara are all goals of Juan Jose Andrade, National Director of the Public Force.

Andrade visited the community on June 2 to understand the district’s current situation better with regard to security and the needs of residents and members of the Public Force station and Tourism Police for the area.

The meeting was held at the Public Force station in Nosara. The new regional director for Guanacaste, Rigoberto Rodriguez, was present, as well as National Director of Tourism Police Adriana Cordoba, deputy for the station in Nicoya.

In addition, members of the community were also in attendance, along with representatives for the Nosara Development Association (ADIN – Asociacion de Desarrollo Integral de Nosara), the Nosara Security Association, and the Nosara Civic Association.

The meeting revolved around three principal subjects: the cost of rent for the Tourism Police station in Guiones, the status of the registration process of motorcycles donated a year ago, and the construction of the new district police station in Nosara.

Regarding the subject of the rent for the Tourism Police station, Andrade reported that they will continue to use the same building until the new district station is built. Since 2008, the Nosara Security Association has been charged with paying rent and costs associated with the station, which total more than ₵600,000 ($1,200) per month.

Currently, the building’s facilities need repairs, which is why the Association is managing a certification in the registry of government providers to complete improvements for the property.

Andrade also reported on the subject of motorcycles donated more than a year ago by ADIN, which still have not been used by Nosara police officials because they have not been registered in the name of the Public Force.

“The registration process for the motorcycles is extremely slow; it is currently up to the government’s notary to proceed with the registration for the vehicles. They are two completely equipped motorcycles, but we are going to continue pressuring the notary for it to be completed,” explained Andrade, who also said that they will add an addendum to the cooperation agreement with ADIN to be able to temporarily use the motorcycles.

Next, Andrade reported on the construction of the district police station and mentioned the  efforts made by ADIN, who donated a property measuring 1,800 square meters where the Public Force and Tourism Police officials would be located. The property, along with the EBAIS clinic in downtown Nosara, was purchased at a total cost of $100,000. The Nosara Civic Association donated $80,000 for the purchase and ADIN contributed the remaining amount.

Financing the construction of the facility is the remaining step, which, according to Andrade, will be completed in partnership with the National Direction of Community Development (DINADECO – Dirección Nacional de Desarrollo Comunal) and Public Force funds.

On the subject of the station, Andrade estimated that the capacity will be for 60 police officials and that the hope is that the building will be environmentally-friendly, following the model of police stations such as the one in Leon XXIII in the central valley.

Other important points from the meeting were brought up by members of the community, who expressed their concern about the large number of robberies and crimes that have happened mainly to foreign tourists along the coast.

Agnes Pinheiro, President of the Nosara Security Association, explained that, “The main problem is that the majority of foreigners do not file complaints regarding the crimes because they have to go to Nicoya to do so.”

In addition, residents complained about the lack of a local Public Force patrol presence at nighttime. Andrade responded by promising to improve communication between members of the Public Force and the Tourism Police to increase organization and cover a larger area.

Moreover, Andrade promised that this week, the Police Attention Center (CAP – Centro de Atencion Policial) will come to Nosara, which is a mobile police station equipped with police officials.

“CAP is a fully-equipped police unit; it comes with six officials, two motorcycles, computers, surveillance cameras and even cells,” explained Andrade.

The unit will be in the community at a specific point for a week, probably in Guiones, and it will reinforce the 13 officials of the Nosara police station and the 12 Tourism Police members.

Finally, Andrade expressed his commitment to return to Nosara during August to follow up on the subjects discussed and keep residents informed.