Digital radio emergency call boxes coming to remote areas south of El Rosario
San Quintín, BC – This region was approved to become the 6th municipality of Baja California in 2020 and during this transformation of splitting away from Ensenada, a Founding Municipal Council was formed to oversee the transfer of government including the building / installation of the required systems and infrastructure for the new municipal government to officially take the reins in 2024.
Local attorney Jorge Lopez Peralta was chosen as the President of this new Council and I had the opportunity to sit down with him and discuss the future of San Quintín, including a few projects on the near horizon that I believe will be of interest to our members, including the installation of a network of digital radio emergency call boxes to be installed on remote sections of the Transpeninsular Highway south of El Rosario as well as the southern section of Mex 5 and the access road to Bahia de Los Angeles.
Emergency Call Service with Wi-Fi South of El Rosario
Something every tourist who drives the Transpeninsular south of El Rosario knows is that there are a few hundred miles remote territory with zero cellular service available. Unless you had a satellite phone or communication device, such as the services provided by companies like Spot or Garmin, you really had no way to get in touch with anyone, including emergency services in the case of an accident and/or medical emergency.
While cellular service for the entire region is still a ways off yet, soon you won’t have to go all the way up to El Rosario or down to Punta Prieta to find help.
The San Quintín Municipal Council voted to purchase the equipment needed to install a new, digital radio network to provide emergency communication coverage for the southern region of the state which will include 9, possibly 10 towers that will be connected to satellite internet service and will each have an emergency call button installed for travelers to be able to ask for help when needed. The calls will be answered by a new office being formed under Public Protection and will be manned with bilingual operators working in shifts, 24 hours day.
The emergency operators will coordinate the response services needed with the appropriate agencies and based on the location of the incident to ensure the best and most expedited response possible.
Each digital radio tower will be well marked, with instructions in both Spanish and English and will also provide free wifi access in close proximity to each tower, which will be approximately 30 miles apart from each other during this first phase of the project, with all of the southern delegation offices, police units and their vehicles also being connected into this new system which will be a giant leap of progress to bring the region into the 21st century.
All of the equipment has been purchased and the installation construction/installation of the towers will be performed by a local company – Sistemas de Comunicación (Siscom) with a projected completion date of March 31, 2022.
The projected tower locations are as follows:
1 – El Aguajito / Rancho El Sacrificio
Coordinates: 30.0640, -115.3484
2 – Rancho Sonora
Coordinates: 29.9217, -114.9791
3 – Cataviña
Coordinates: 29.7283, -114.7187
4 – Chapala
Coordinates: 29.3851, -114.3826
5 – Punta Prieta
Coordinates: 28.9290, -114.1572
6 – La Cienega at Nuevo Rosarito
Coordinates: 28.6223, -114.0334
7 – Villa Jesus Maria
Coordinates: 28.2849, -113.9993
8 – Road to BOLA
Coordinates: 29.0293, -113.83158
9 – Border 28th Parallel
Coordinates: 28.0068, -114.0121
The final, exact location of each tower may possibly change due to unforeseen problems that may occur during their installation but this should be a fairly close representation. A tenth tower could possibly be installed at San Luis Gonzaga but will require a coordinated effort between the new forming San Felipe municipal government and the local property owner onsite.
Municipal Security Patrols on Federal Highways
Federal highways in Mexico were formerly under the jurisdiction of the Federal Police and today the newly formed National Guard. Over the last couple of years unfortunately, Mexico City has cut back on funding the patrols of some of the more remote areas including highway services provided by the Green Angels programs and even the military checkpoint near San Luis Gonzaga on Mex 5.
When I interviewed the President of the Founding Municipal Council, he also shared with me that the void of federal services has provided an opportunity for San Quintín’s newly forming municipal government to step up and begin providing services. Patrols of the southern highways in the state began on the first of the year along the Transpeninsular Highway south of El Rosario down to the 28th parallel as well as the road out to Bahia de Los Angeles. Those patrols are also covering the section of Mex 5 from Chapala up to San Luis Gonzaga, coordinating with the newly forming municipal government of San Felipe who is now patrolling that highway heading north out of Gonzaga.
This new digital radio system will also help improve the emergency response time as the central office of Public Safety in San Quintín will know the exact location of each police unit via their digital radio signal output, enabling them to coordinate the response from the closest available units.
Improved Police Service for BOLA
Bahia de Los Angeles will definitely benefit from the coming digital radio emergency service but will soon be seeing some new, and hopefully more happy faces patrolling their area. San Quintin has recently hiked the salaries for their police officers and today is offering the highest salaries paid to police officers on the peninsula and ranked high among the best paid in all of Mexico.
Up until now, Ensenada had been responsible for law enforcement and public safety for all the southern region and frequently, officers were sent to Bahia de Los Angeles as a means of punishment for bad behavior on the job; meaning that those elements arrived in BOLA already feeling like outcasts, marked as problematic and forced to be far away from their close family and friends.
Those officers assigned to these temporary assignments rarely, if ever, developed any strong ties with the local community with some even rumored to have been working with members of the local criminal element.
Hopefully, that should be changing soon as the new San Quintín council is in the process of removing those disgruntled officers stationed there and looking only for officers who actually express a desire to be there, relocating to the area with their families and become members of the local community. With the relatively high salaries being offered right now, a growing list of officers from other parts of the state and even from below the 28th parallel have expressed an interest in hiring on and relocating there. Interviews are ongoing and the area should be seeing some positive results in the coming months.