Posted by: Idioma Extra | July 5, 2010

Monday´s News

Cops stationed at airport will warn tourists about crime

Bilingual tourist police are being stationed at Juan Santamaría airport to welcome tourists and give them some security tips.

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, the security ministry and the airport operator, AERIS Costa Rica, have set up two booths at the airport that officials say are placed strategically to provide handouts and information.

Among the information is the fact that the 911 emergency number has at least one bilingual operator on duty at any time.

The booths went into operation Thursday.

The airport location is appropriate because tourist frequently become victims of robbers not far from that location. Crooks use the punctured tire routine to get tourists, usually in rental vehicles, to pull over and expose themselves to highway robbers.

In addition to providing information about crime prevention, the police officers can provide general information about the country, the tourism institute said.

The Sistema de Emergencia 911 reported that in the first six months of the year it handled 345 calls that required the services of a bilingual operator. Not all of the calls were in English, and the service has a system to connect a caller with an embassy worker or someone else who speaks the required language. The service said that the calls amounted to about two a day or 60 per month.

José María Tijerino, the minister of Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública, said that by contacting tourists early there were more opportunities to provide information for a safe visit.

The agencies appear to be responding to the many negative experiences that have given Costa Rica a bad name in other countries. For example, the U.S. Embassy reported that in 2009 more than 1,200 U.S. passports were reported missing or stolen there.

Word of the Day

Main Entry: pre•ven•tion
Function: noun
Date: 1582
: the act of preventing or hindering

More Vocabulary
Amount: v. to reach a total: add up
Booth: n. a stall, compartment, or light structure for the sale of goods or for display purposes, as at a market, exhibition or fair
Handout: n. a folder or circular of information for free distribution
Puncture: n. a hole, wound, or perforation made by puncturing
Station: v. to assign to or set in a station or position

Love those Phrasal Verbs!
Pull over: to direct one’s automobile or other vehicle to the curb; move out of a line of traffic

  • The police officer told the driver to pull over.

Set up: to enable to begin in business; provide with means

  • She set up her own company 10 years ago.

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