The combination of expanded duties of the Chapala Municipal Police to include criminal investigations plus the dedication of a new quick-acting liaison to the foreign community has already reaped rewards that could only have been dreamt of before the current Chapala administration took office on October 1, 2015. Having only served in her liaison position for a few months, Gloria Perales already understands some of the most important stress points of the expat community. She meets with American and Canadian service organizations here, as well as with the Lake Chapala Society and the various consulates to regularly listen to the concerns of her constituents. And then she acts.
One of the top issues expats have told her about is the high number of home burglaries in this area. So, she has published her cell phone number, and told people to call her immediately (whatever the hour of the day or night) when there has been a burglary or any other crime against an expat (she speaks English). She then calls Chapala Police Chief Adan directly, and undercover police arrive quickly to investigate. The culprits in seven local burglaries have been caught using this method. This is certainly a change in the right direction from the sleepy after-the-fact actions of the local Ministerio Publico to investigate and solve crimes.
What else is on Perales’ agenda? With the exodus of snowbirds approaching in a few months, and the sad reality of some of their pets being simply released to fend for themselves on the streets, Perales is planning an outreach program with local and Guadalajaran veterinarians to provide no-questions-asked drop-off places for unwanted pets, including medical care for the animals, as needed, and no-kill sanctuaries and adoption services. Local veterinarian Pepe Magaña has already volunteered to assist this program.
Perales realizes that communication is key, not only because there are often language barriers to getting things accomplished, but also because everyone wins when all segments of the community work together. To that end, she wants to start a municipal newsletter. Wouldn’t neighbors want to know the identity of burglary suspects? Print their names and photos. Wouldn’t everyone want to know about the added authority the police now have to conduct investigations? The newsletter could serve as an ongoing forum of information exchange.
All in all, what a great start!
The Lake Chapala Reporter has a sizeable email distribution list of Lake Chapala residents, and has volunteered to be of service to Perales’ office for distributing important information to the expat community in a timely manner. Articles posted on this website can also be viewed as soon as they are published by supplying an email address on the home page of this publication under the section “Want to Stay Current?”
Any expat who is unsure how to solve a problem the city might be able to help with can contact Gloria Perales at:
Chapala City Hall, second floor, Mon – Wed from 9 to 4
Ajijic Delegation, upstairs from the police department by the plaza, Thu – Fri from 9 – 4
PeralesGloriapg1.firstname.lastname@example.org (Note: the email address in the Guadalajara Reporter recently was incorrect)