Mexican Federal Cops Quitting Nearly as Fast as They Join

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The number of Federal Police in Mexico who quit the force tripled in a two-year period, according to the national freedom of information agency.

Data from Mexico’s Federal Institute for Access to Public Information (IFAI) says that in the past four years, eight out of every 10 federal police officers left the force. Reasons range from retirement to injury to death. However, the largest number of inactive officers voluntarily resigned.

El Universal reports that out of the 8,327 officers who passed their entrance exams between 2007 and 2010, over 6,000 of them have since become inactive. A little over 400 were killed, while 5,890 quit. The number of officers who quit between 2007 and 2009 tripled, rising from 662 to 2,170.

The data also appears to indicate that while more police are quitting, more are signing up and are passing the entrance exams. Just 591 trainees were approved to join the police force in 2007, compared with 3,899 in 2009 and 2,169 in 2010. The average monthly pay for a federal officer is 12,000 pesos (about $900), significantly higher than salaries earned by municipal cops, who, depending on the state, may earn as little as $300 a month.

Mexico has relied on its federal force to fill the gap left by municipal police, who suffer from high levels of corruption. The wide variation in training, equipment and pay found within the municipal force is one reason why the government has proposed to unify over 2,000 local departments with a new federal standard.

There are currently about 35,000 members of Mexico’s Federal Police force.

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