City police authorized to carry non-lethal weapons and wear protective clothing

Oct 1, 2019 | 16 comments

Ecuador’s Interior Ministry has granted Cuenca’s Citizen Guard permission to carry protective gear following an increasing number of physical assaults. Beginning October 22, the guard will be authorized to carry small billy clubs and tear gas and wear protective body gear when they are on duty.

National Police were called to make an arrest Monday after a Citizen Guard was attacked in El Centro. (El Tiempo)

The guard, which does not have arrest authority, will still be required to call national police reinforcement to deal with what the ministry calls “violent disruptive incidents.”

“We have sought these protections for our officers for several months and are pleased that we now have permission,” says Citizen Guard commander Paúl Delgado. “Since the guard was formed, we have faced many instances of violence when the officers were not properly equipped to deal with the situation and to protect themselves.”

Delgado says the majority of violent incidents involves drunks and informal vendors on city streets. In other cases, guards have come under attack when they went to the rescue of robbery victims, he said, adding that there were two more cases of assault on guards on Sunday and Monday. In one case, national police were called to make an arrest.

“With the new permission, guards will be able to wear anti-cut vests and helmets when they are called to deal with violent situations,” Delgado says. “This is important since several of our members have suffered knife wounds and other injuries in the past.”

In announcing the new protections, Delgado said the Citizen Guard is undergoing a reorganization that will redeploy officers to “high problem” areas in the city. “In the past, our assignments have focused on covering as many neighborhoods as possible. In the future, we will deploy to areas where there are the largest number of incidents requiring our attention. We must place our resources where they are needed most.”

CuencaHighLife

Expat Community News

Dani News

Google ad

The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of February 25

Cuenca Finally Gets to Experience Van Gogh Like Never Before.

Read more

Ecuador lost just over a million hectares of forest formations in 38 years.

Read more

Drone Plants 1,500 Trees in 15 Minutes to Combat Deforestation.

Read more

Google ad

Hogar Esperanza News

Gypsy News

FAAN News

Veronica Arpi News

Fund Grace News

Subscribe to our newsletter

Cuenca High Life offers on-line publications, local translated news, and reports about the expat life and living in Ecuador. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!