Friday, December 23, 2011

Tour Guides with Guns

Yesterday was "Police Day" in Querétaro, and in honor of the event, Gov. Calzada inaugurated yet another police force, which is exactly what this town needs! In addition to the Federal Police, the State Police, the Municipal Police, the Transit Police and the various offshoot, subdivisions and SWAT teams associated with each of them, we now have the Tourist Police. We have no idea why.

At first we assumed this was a special force aimed at arresting, detaining and just generally policing tourists, though why this would require its own police force is beyond us. Furthermore, the vast majority of tourists in Querétaro are Mexican, not foreign, so again, why would they need their own police force? Los Angeles is 3,000 miles from Brooklyn, but we can more or less deal with their policemen without incident (maybe more so than the locals).

But no, apparently the Tourist Police received special training in "cultural and historical themes" (as well as "specialized defense," whatever that is), and are required to understand English and be able to "orient and guide" people around the city.

In the rest of the world, these people are called "tour guides."  There's a central tourist office here, and a handful of information kiosks scattered around town not to mention the dozens of privately-run tours of the Centro.  But because Querétaro's solution to everything is to add more inadequately-trained people with guns into the mix, we now have a platoon of armed tour guides trained in "specialized defense," just in time for the holidays.


Lazlo said...

Can't wait for the Ex-Pat Police, dedicated to protect you-know-who from inebriated locals. That would be some "specialized defense".

Burro Hall said...

I've got a couple of off-duty cops - Officers Smith & Wesson - taking care of that at the moment.