On Friday, June 1st, the director of Fuerza Publica, Commissioner Juan José Andrade met with the Head of Air Surveillance Services, Captain Alex Romero, and together announced a new initiative for combining land and air operation’s in the battle against crime in Costa Rica.
Commissioner Andrade explained that, with the support of Air Surveillance Services, Fuerza Publica has apprehended a few suspects linked to various crimes.
Captain Romero highlighted the importance of collaborating with Fuerza Publica officers on the ground. These operations give them the ability to observe suspects fleeing the police. The rolling topography of Costa Rica often makes tracking suspects challenging, but in recent days, helicopter support has given Fuerza Publica the exact location of perpetrators on the ground.
Commissioner Andrade stated that he has been working with Air Surveillance over the last five months, but the coordination has been mostly limited to providing air support after incidents occur. The focus now is to place helicopters in strategic locations so that they can get airborne and directly support the actions on the ground.
The initial operations have been carried out in different locations around Costa Rica. Positive results were achieved in San Jose, Alajuela and Heredia.
In Palmares, Fuerza Publica officers seized a Nissan Sentra that had been reported stolen. As soon as police officers got the call, the helicopter got airborne and located the vehicle. One suspect was arrested. Minutes after the arrest, Fuerza Publica captured a second auto theft suspect, this time in the central region of the Alajuela province
In Heredia on April 28th, a butcher shop was held up near Santo Domingo. Two men escaped on a motorcycle, but by the time they reached the Leo XIII neighborhood in San Jose, Fuerza Publica managed to capture them thanks to helicopter support. The stolen cash and cell phones were recovered, and a firearm was confiscated.
On May 30th, three suspects wanted for assault, attempted murder, manslaughter and aggravated robbery were captured near Guarari thanks to the coordinated efforts of air and ground units.