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Transito Looking For Volunteers In The Absence of Sufficient Officials

Q COSTA RICA – In the face of a lack of sufficient manpower (officials) to patrol the roads has motivated the Policia de Transito (Traffic Police) to open a call for “ad honorem” inspectors.

The police body reported having already received about 80 applicants from interested parties, of which between 30 and 40 will be chosen to receive training to become traffic police officials, for which they will receive no payment. The voluntary officials will not be working full time.

“We have a need to meet the needs of the people and one of way is this…hopefully we will have people who really want to serve,” said Mario Calderon, head of the Traffic Police.

The infographic prepared by La Nacion reveals the serious lack of officials by the Policia de Transito, a police force with only 763 active officials, regulating the more than 1.4 million vehicles in the country. The police body needs more than 1,100 officials, but it does not have the funds to hire and train more them.

The police chief clarified that the ad honorem officials do not in any way make a dent in the more than the additional 1,100 police officials the police body needs to properly serve and protect the public.

The police body lacks sufficient funds to hire and train the required number of officials.

Currently, the Policia de Transito has 763 active officials, who are in charge of monitoring and regulating traffic of the more than 1.4 million vehicles in circulation in the entire country.

Volunteers must be Costa Rican, a high school graduate, over 25 years of age, not a concessionaire of public transportation (ie have a taxi or bus operator concession), have economic solvency (must show proof of income) and a type B driver license. Applicants will undergo a psychological examination prior to being considered for training, that includes a 290-hour course, taught in eight-hour sessions every weekend for nine months.

In Costa Rica, the Traffic Police (Transito) is a police body under the authority of the Dirección General de la Policía de Tránsito (DGPT) of the Ministerio de Obras Publica y Transportes (MOPT).

Only Transitos (and now Fuerza Publica and Municipal police officials trained as Transitos) can enforce the traffic laws in the country.

In total, there currently are 122 municipal police officials that also work traffic, distributed in 17 local governments. These policemen have the same powers as Transito officials, except to attend accidents.

In order to be able to practice as Transitos, Fuerza Publica and municipal police officials must undergo 554 hours of training in the Escuela de Capacitación de la Policía de Tránsito (School of the Traffic Police).