Barnaby Monk 1:14 p.m., June 19
An estimated 55% of state and local police in Baja California are yet to take mandatory evaluations that were implemented in 2010. The Centro de Evaluación y Control de Confianza (CECC or Center for Evaluation and Reliability Control) of the Secretaría de Seguridad Pública del Estado (SSPE or Ministry of Public Security of the State) is required to give national mandatory tests to all police by January of 2013, stated Nancy Luz Medina Corral, director of the CECC.
According to the Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR) website, the evaluations include drug tests, psychological assessments, social environment and balance tests, polygraph test, and medical examinations. Incoming staff is to be tested, as well as current staff every two years.
Around 20% of those tested to date have failed evaluations in Baja. José Óscar Vega Marín, Executive Secretary of the Nation Public Safety System, told Mexican media earlier this year that nationally an estimated 30% (55,000) have failed the evaluations. Only an estimated 35% of police nationwide have been evaluated as states struggle to implement the testing process.
Former police chief Julián Leyzaola helped clean up Baja police forces when he took office in late 2008. During his tenure he fired and replaced an estimated 600 police. Many of those former officers had ties to organized crime and have since fully entered the cartel ranks.
Numerous former municipal police officers have been apprehended while working for the Sinaloa Cartel in Baja. Last week a weapons stash was found with two former municipal officers.
State officials claim the remaining 10,600 tests will be performed on the remaining officers by years end to complete the process.