To stem the rising tide of violence washing over the country’s educational institutions, El Salvador’s National Civil Police (PNC) is increasing its focus on bolstering security at schools throughout the Central American nation, beginning with those in areas with the most crime....
The PNC will train an additional 260 officers to join the 130 who already are part of the Safe Schools program. The officers will be trained in police ethics, human rights, protection of constitutional rights, interventions and traffic and road safety. However, the Ministry of Education estimated 1,000 officers are needed to provide adequate protection nationwide.
Up to two officers are assigned to a school, depending on its enrollment and number of crimes committed in the area. The program is striving to have two to three officers assigned to each school, Salinas said.
The PNC also isn’t providing all of the security itself, as 500 soldiers from the Armed Forces of El Salvador (FAES) complement the PNC by having one or two soldiers patrol the area around each school.
“We have coordinated with the Armed Forces so they can support our patrols around the schools’ perimeters,” Salinas said. “It’s an ongoing project to provide security to the students. We’re committed to providing them with lasting security.”
Parents shouldn't be afraid to send their children to school. The schools, however, are perhaps not so much the places of danger, as the walks to and from school. Those walks, however, will only be safe when neighborhoods become safe.