EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Police officers in Juarez, Mexico, are getting bulletproof vests, the Office of Mayor Armando Cabada said.

Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada hands out a bulletproof vest and other equipment to one of his traffic officers. (courtesy photo)

The 409 vests are going primarily to motorized officers and patrolmen assigned to traffic duties, given they’re the most likely to be involved in spontaneous high-risk situations. The Mayor’s Office said the vests cost about $300,000.

The announcement comes days after members of organized crime killed two city police officers and wounded a third one. It was at least the fourth attack on Juarez police in just over a year.

Juarez, a city of 1.5 million people known as an international manufacturing center and a gateway to the United States, is also hounded by the presence of two drug cartels — Sinaloa and La Linea — and four major gangs.

Municipal Police Chief Raul Avila Ibarra said this is the first time that city police officers get bulletproof vests. He said the city is committed to ensuring the safety of its officers.

A Mexico City public safety think-tank earlier this year ranked Juarez as the third most-violent city in the world based on homicide rates. The city has recorded more than 3,000 murders in the past two years and is reporting an additional 692 violent killings so far in 2021.

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