Los Cabos has not taken being put on the U.S. Department of State warning list lying down. As a joint public and private sector effort, the destination has launched the Rapid Response Network, the cornerstone of a five-point security action plan which includes the launch of new Marine base by spring of next year and the expansion of a surveillance system network that will include installing surveillance cameras in public spaces that are popular with tourists and meeting groups.
The program has used guidelines set by the Overseas Security Advisory Committee (OSAC) to create the five-point initiative. The OSAC promotes security cooperation between American private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State. Los Cabos has been placed on the State Department's warning list due to recent incidents stemming from turf wars between drug gangs.
"This new program will include training and sharing of security best practices among the police, hoteliers, and other meeting service providers such as DMCs," said Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of Los Cabos Tourism at a breakfast in New York this morning. "This year alone, the public and private sector have invested more than $47 million dollars to create the Rapid Response Network program, increase security personnel, equipment and infrastructure."
Here are the highlights of the program:
- Creation of a "Rapid Response Network: Los Cabos is developing real-time and ongoing communications between local hoteliers and businesses to share information on suspicious activity or reported incidents, as well as to alert the appropriate authorities and law enforcement.
- Accelerating the Security Surveillance System Expansion: The destination is extending its surveillance camera network with the goal of installing more than 200 new cameras, especially in high-traffic tourist areas, bringing the total to 250 from the current 40 in place.
- Building a New Marine Base: The new base will significantly increase the presence of the Mexican Marine Corps to manage the expanded surveillance system and amplify law enforcement activity. The base will open in Q2 2018.
- Organizing a Hotel Security Committee: Working with the Hotels Association, the new committee meets biweekly to address any concerns, share best practices, and update security protocols.
- Setting New Training and Security Protocols: Local hoteliers and business are implementing new security training programs and protocols aligned with OSAC standards to improve preparedness.