The signing ceremony. Photo via losandes.com.ar

President Mauricio Macri and Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta signed an agreement today to transfer a part of the Federal Police to the city government’s jurisdiction.

Between 17,000 and 20,000 Federal Police officers—along with the funds to support them—will stop being under the command of the National Government and join the 6,300 Metropolitan Police members that are already under City Hall jurisdiction.

Following the signing ceremony, Macri highlighted the importance of the transfer—which was one of his campaign promises—and said that Buenos Aires “has to be one of the safest cities in the world again,” and that people in Argentina have to be allowed to live with peace of mind.

He then went on to publicly request the City Mayor’s commitment to “creating clear statistics in order to have a ‘crime map,’ so we can once again trust reliable statistics and not rumors or feelings.”

On the other hand, mayor Rodríguez Larreta called the signing a “very important step forward,” since the transfer means that safety, possibly the main concern in the city, will continue to improve day after day.

However, Larreta explained that his administration still has “a long way to go” and said “there are no magical solutions” for the City’s crime problems. However, he said that for the City to handle its own police force “is an extremely important milestone.”

Specifically, the agreement transfers the 15,000 officers distributed in 54 police stations the Metropolitan Security Superintendence has under its command from the National Government’s jurisdiction to the city’s. The Mounted Police unit, the firemen and the Infantry Guard are also included in the agreement.

According to city authorities, the Metropolitan and Federal Police officers working in the city will merge into a single force after a year-long transition period, which can be extended “if both parties consider it necessary”.