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Penny

Police at Caldera Road Intersection

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Once again this morning I was waved through the police stop at the Caldera road and once again it occurred to me how ineffective this effort is. I believe all the money being spent on having 2-3 policemen there most of the time is to protect Boquete from maleantes coming up from David to do home invasions and assaults against the Boquete residents (who are rich, don't cha know). The problem is the police chose to be on the side of the intersection where there is shade and not on the side of the intersection where they will do any good. Any maleante wanting to come into Boquete without being stopped needs only come in via the Caldera road. The same is true for any maleante wanting to leave Boquete with their loot and return to David. All they have to do is turn left onto the Caldera road before they get to the police stop.

What is it that I'm not understanding here???

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I think you have a very clear grasp. The bad guys with smartphones can use the social program "waze" to show police check points rendering them mostly moot. Believe it or not I have never been stopped at a police checkpoint in any state or other country, except Panama. Can't be good for the tourism image. What's with that? I think I know!

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5 hours ago, Penny said:

Once again this morning I was waved through the police stop at the Caldera road and once again it occurred to me how ineffective this effort is. I believe all the money being spent on having 2-3 policemen there most of the time is to protect Boquete from maleantes coming up from David to do home invasions and assaults against the Boquete residents (who are rich, don't cha know). The problem is the police chose to be on the side of the intersection where there is shade and not on the side of the intersection where they will do any good. Any maleante wanting to come into Boquete without being stopped needs only come in via the Caldera road. The same is true for any maleante wanting to leave Boquete with their loot and return to David. All they have to do is turn left onto the Caldera road before they get to the police stop.

What is it that I'm not understanding here???

Penny,

I'm not sure what you really want.  The police are checking the major entrance to Boquete from David.  I live off of Caldera Road, and I have seen them check traffic going South after crime incidents in Boquete.  

It would be great if every entrance and exit to/from Boquete were protected 24/7/365 but what we have now is a major improvement over what we had last year.  But, that just gets more and more expensive.  I've been pleasantly surprised that the checkpoints have lasted until now.

I'm thankful for the upgrade in protection that they have come up with even though it seems to be short by your standards.  It must be very expensive to operate the checkpoint.  And, I'm really disappointed with your implication that they are only checking in a comfort zone.  Be thankful for small steps that improve protection.  Maybe you can make a case for expanding the checkpoint, but please do so without slighting the officers trying to protect you.

Best regards, Woody

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I have my doubts that maleantes from David would go to the considerable trouble and time of getting from David to Boquete via Caldera. On the other hand, our most vicious crime took place in Caldera, and the maleantes would have been detained or at least observed from where the police stop now is. I think they see themselves as protecting both Boquete and Caldera. If they were posted on the opposite side of the road to Caldera, as you suggest, traffic from David simply could take a right to Caldera and avoid the checkpoint.

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We feel it is great they are there and have no complaints.  Every time we go through we pass out packs of chewing gum to all the officials on duty and tell them:

gracias por estar aquí y hacer su trabajo

 

Be happy with what we have verses nada before!

 Small steps turn into giant leaps!

Edited by TwoSailors
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What are the hours of operation? I went by there once when it started to rain during the daytime and they were packing up. If their hours are limited and I was a bad guy, I would go when they were not there, and after checking "waze" on my smartphone. Also has no effect on criminals that live north of the checkpoint. So what is it they really do and when?

PS: there is a back way into Boquete via La Estrella if someone was really desperate.

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2 hours ago, Bonnie said:

I have my doubts that maleantes from David would go to the considerable trouble and time of getting from David to Boquete via Caldera. On the other hand, our most vicious crime took place in Caldera, and the maleantes would have been detained or at least observed from where the police stop now is. I think they see themselves as protecting both Boquete and Caldera. If they were posted on the opposite side of the road to Caldera, as you suggest, traffic from David simply could take a right to Caldera and avoid the checkpoint.

Actually the murder of the Canadian was in Macano, although in the general Caldera area, the victims house was accessible from two directions both well before the Caldera cutoff checkpoint. Going to Boquete via Gualaca maybe takes a half hour more than David direct to Boquete.

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All I'm saying is they would be far more effective in protecting Boquete if they located themselves on the north side of the Caldera intersection.

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Not sure that would work either. Google maps shows a bypass to the Caldera cutoff through Los Molinos. 

Speaking of resource allocation, last year it took the police 45 minutes to respond to a crime in progress at my home in Boquete as they were tied up in Palmira. And a reported shooting recently in El Salto wasn't responded to at all. Why are the cops posted to such an ineffective location?

 

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7 minutes ago, Doug Tyler said:

I am 99% sure it is all about the shade. We are overthinking this one. This is Panama.

Doug, you are correct. It's about shelter from the elements.

btw, I have seen them stop cars coming from, or turning to Caldera.

 

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I think there was a method to the madness in choosing that location, and protection from weather is only a part of it.  Via Boquete is the primary road carrying traffic from all points South.  There is no ditch dividing the highway at that location, so it makes it easier to operate on both sides of the road if needed.  The check can easily be expanded to the southbound lanes of Via Boquete or to the route to David via Gualaca.

Nothing is ever perfect, but I can't think of much that would be better in getting the best bang for the buck. 

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