Merida, December 6th, 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The police making up the new National Bolivarian Police will receive a “dignified” wage as well as a package of benefits, president Hugo Chavez announced during a swearing in ceremony of its board of directors on Friday.
The increased wage is a 318% increase. “A policeperson today has a salary of less than 1,000 Bolivars (BsF) (US $465 per month)… and we’ve established the new base salary of an officer at BsF2,800 (US $1,300)… and they’ll also receive a risk premium of BsF 300 (US $140),” Chavez said.
Police commissioners’ wages will increase from BsF 1,700 per month (US $791) to BsF 4,440 (US $2,047) with a risk premium of BsF 100 (US $47).
Chavez said police would receive other benefits as well, such as child premiums, food vouchers, personal accident premiums, a social loan fund, help for children with learning problems, insurance, and others.
“The oligarchy sentenced the police to misery and ignorance in order to dominate them. We need a well-educated police force … and I’m prepared to do everything within my power so that you all have a decent standard of living and we can come out of this old paradigm,” Chavez said at the ceremony.
Chavez also swore in 11 directors in charge of various sections of the national police, and approved a new fund for the prevention of crime.
The fund, called the Fund for Investigation and Action in Relation to the Prevention of Crime will start off with BsF 10 million (US $4.7 million). Chavez said the money had come from the Miranda Fund (a government fund based on extra earnings on taxes) and the money will be used to carry out four programs aimed at the most vulnerable social groups in order to prevent crime in the communities.
Prensa Latina also reported that the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, as it continues its extraordinary congress today, discussed the proposal for a plan to defeat crime, which consisted of integrating education, sport, culture and communication as a way of preventing it. Delegates stressed that the media should have an educative and moral role rather than promoting violence.
In various polls, Venezuelans nominate crime as the most concerning issue, and government ministers have admitted that police are the instigators of a large proportion of it. Following two years of consultation with communities, human rights organisations and police forces, the National Assembly passed the National Police Service law last year, and the new force will begin operating this month.