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Several Sonoran Police Forces Could Get Military Heads

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With violence rising in the Mexican state to Arizona’s south, local officials will soon consider putting military leadership in charge of police forces in several major Sonoran cities. 

In five cities, including Hermosillo, current or retired military officers may soon replace civilian police force leadership.

Guaymas, Empalme, Navojoa and Cajeme are the other cities where such officials could take over, pending approval from local city councils. Much of the violence in recent months has been concentrated there.

“Obviously, the training of soldiers and police officers is very different,” said Manuel Emilio Hoyos, head of the Sonoran Observatory for Security, a citizens public safety group.

Another public safety expert — Marco Antonio Paz, who advises both the Hermosillo and state Citizens Committee on Public Safety — said that the rise in violence is out of the historical norm and that he hopes the military heads are a temporary measure.

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