Local police called into stations, disarmed
A Tijuana city police officer holding a cup of coffee walks out a door of the La Mesa city police station, which is being guarded by federal police.
A Tijuana city police officer, center, walks into the La Mesa city police station, which is being guarded by federal police.
Disarmed Tijuana city police officers wait outside the La Mesa police station, where they are stationed.
The action occurred in central and eastern Tijuana, where high crime rates related to drug violence have been recorded in the last two months.
Municipal police are expected to undergo extensive background checks and training, Mayor Jorge Ramos said. The military and state and federal police are scheduled to be in place for a month.
The municipal officers were called in from patrol Tuesday morning. When they arrived at their stations, they were disarmed. Federal and state agents got into the municipal patrol pickups and headed out for the city streets.
About 9:30 a.m., municipal officers who had been disarmed stood around outside the La Mesa station waiting for instructions on what to do next.
Last week, federal officials detained high-ranking municipal police officers suspected of links to organized crime. More than 600 people have been killed in Tijuana this year, and many of the victims have had ties to drug cartels. Drug gangs are fighting one another for control of smuggling routes along the border, police and crime experts say.