SJ muni legislator proposes measures to boost security during San Sebastián festival
San Juan municipal legislator Manuel Calderón Ceram
By JOHN McPHAUL
With an eye on the high crime rate seen in the island capital, Manuel Calderón Cerame, the spokesman for the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) in the San Juan Municipal Assembly, presented four proposals on Sunday to reinforce security during the upcoming Fiestas de la Calles San Sebastián.
“Let’s remember that last Saturday, the residents of Old San Juan, as well as other visitors and tourists witnessed a murder on Norzagaray Street. We all want to celebrate during the fiesta, but the life and safety of the attendees is something we have to work on with the greatest responsibility,” Calderón Cerame said. “In San Juan, crime is through the roof and we have to use all available resources so that the crime wave that surrounds our capital city does not manifest itself during the festivities of Calle San Sebastián. That is why I present these real and concrete recommendations to avoid any tragedy during the holidays.”
The proposals are based on the following points:
1. Lighting: The lighting on the islet of San Juan, as well as in other areas of the rest of the Capital City, is off. It is important that the Luis Muñoz Rivera Park, the Linear Walk, as well as the Constitution Avenue area currently in the dark are illuminated. We must press for coordination between the central government and the Municipality of San Juan. Enough of the hot potato and excuses.
2. Collaboration: Request the assistance of federal authorities during the celebration of San Sebastián. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as well as the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Administration (ATF), must provide assistance to both municipal and state police. It is necessary that before Thursday this coordination meeting between these law and order enforcement agencies are all in tune.
3. Increase coverage: Implementing four rolling barracks on the islet of San Juan. Coordination has to be strategic because the rest of the Capital City can’t be left without a functioning security plan.
4. Use of Canine Unit: Activate the Police Bureau’s canine unit as a method of prevention at the points for collective transportation. It is necessary that in the parking lot of Hiram Bithorn Stadium, at Stop 26 in Sagrado Corazón, as well as in the Cataño boat terminal we have canine units conducting field tests to prevent the entry of illegal weapons during the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián.
The traditional Fiestas de la Calle de San Sebastián will take place from this Thursday through Sunday (Jan. 19-22).
“This event will be held after the year 2022 ended with San Juan being the jurisdiction with the most vehicle thefts, more Type 1 crimes and more cases of gender violence,” Calderón Cerame said. “The Anti-Crime Plan of [San Juan Mayor] Miguel Romero has not yielded positive results and as a result of this, sanjuaneros today feel more insecure in their communities, so it is up to us, beyond denunciations, to propose real and concrete alternatives for everyone in San Juan.
On Sunday, the municipal legislator sent the recommendations officially and by email and to the mayor with the intention of reinforcing the security plan for the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián.
“These proposals I make public and in turn I have already sent them to the mayor,” Calderón Cerame said. “Crime in San Juan is rampant and the municipal administration has not been seen taking serious action in this regard. Therefore, I fulfill the duty that falls to all of us, to ensure that these fiestas are for the enjoyment of all without having to live through any tragedy.”