Over the years the Tijuana Cop has suffered a pretty sordid reputation and I would never say it was without foundation.
However, though I did bribe a traffic cop by accident once, and even with that exception, I have always been treated politely, fairly and with respect whenever I've had an occasion to "interact" with the Tijuana Police. Over a forty year period, this has happened several times for various reasons. The last time, I had to get two young men out of the Tijuana Jail, charged with underage drinking and it cost nothing more than 30 minutes of my time.
Every horror story I've heard about the mistreatment from the cops in Tijuana the "victim" was either belligerent, drunk or both. That should be a clue.
The officer you see here, gave permission to be photographed, his job was to keep peace on Avenida Revolucion and he did it well.
In the past few years there have been many stories, real and third or fourth hand or made-up that the drug cartels have made Tijuana a dangerous place to be. Though the actual crimes rarely ever spilled into the tourists areas of Tijuana, these reports have actually had a huge impact on tourist businesses here. So many places have had to close their doors and thousands are now without a job.
Finally, the Mexican Government has sent in the Federales and much of the crime has been cleaned up. I hope business picks-up soon!!
It's said that Tijuana Police (Policia) Officers are very friendly and helpful. On the other side I heard that Mexican police is corruptive and often want to rip especially foreign and rich hehe (US) visitors. Fortunately I was not forced to check it :-).
But if... call as you can see on my picture: 066 664 638 5218. Hmm... don't they have something easier to remember, he?
Oh, they have: police emergency number is 134, remember: 134
As I know in Tijuana you maybe arrested for:
- Drinking alcohol on any public way
- Disturbing the peace of other persons
- Carring or using firearms
- Possession or comsumption of any kind of drug
Prostitution (although not recommended) is legal unless at age under 18.
We were running low on funds, and found ourselves a decent ATM. As we are getting money out, TWO cop cars pull up and grab us! They throw us on the hood of the car and demand to know why we are taking money out!
"Drugs, Hombre?!" "You buy drugs?!"
"NO Sir!" We were then searched right then and there!!!
Fortunately we were a little tipsy and my friend forgot the conversion rate and took out what he thought was 100 dollars US. In fact, he took out 100 pesos, about 10 bucks!!! The cops didn't even want it and told us to run for the border before they arrested us!
Well... when in Tijuana... RUN!!!
Looking back to the days when I first started coming to TJ vice today? The police have cleaned up much, and the days of shakedowns have pretty much come to a halting stop! Although there are many scammers impersonating police waiting in dark alleys and along the route back to the border.
So be careful, and if they are police, they will insist on having you report to the police department. The smart thing would be, don't be stupid! Common things that lead to citations in TJ from tourist!
1. Urinating in Public!
2. Sex in the streets, parking lots, public area
3. Unconscious in the street
4. Fighting other tourist!
5. Not paying bills
Several years ago the TJ Police were mugging the Tourists so bad that the Mexican Govt had to bring in the Federal Police to watch the local police. It is that bad again.
I've been stopped twice to pay bribes. The first time I was scared to death the second I knew the routine. They are going to find something about you or on you that "breaks Mexican law" but you can pay the fine if you do not "wanna go to jail homes".
I travel all over the World and I've never been to a place that is so rife with corruption. I mean, Thailand has the "Coffee or Tea Donations" to the police but they make you feel like you are giving to a charity without threat. In Mexico the Police practically mug you in plain view and have no style about it. They are just gutter scum thieves and thugs. I feel safer anywhere in the World (that includes some Arab countries) than TJ.
It is why your economy sucks! It is why half of Revolution is boarded and closing up! It is why you have to play Ads on the radio to beg tourists to come to Mexico! Hey, be honest in your tourism ads - tell how many US tourists go missing, are kidnapped, or are murdered in your ****hole of a country by the MEXICAN POLICE! Tijuana you suck!
Tips. Go in the light of day. Always take a taxi where ever you go. Always keep on eye on the cops where ever you are. Always hide your money in a sock. Better yet - stop going to Mexico all together until Mexico gets their **** together and joins the civilized World. Did I mention always keep an eye on the cops?
I have been traveling to TJ for years. I have never had any real problems until recently. I was stopped 3 times and forced to pay a "fine" in a police car or be brought to jail simply jaywalking from a bar to my hotel. I also saw the police "rounding up" young girls who were not prostitutes. I talked to the locals and they said that 200 police have been added and that fines are now common because TJ does not pay its Police Dept. I strongly advise anyone going to TJ to reconsider. I will not be going back
I was in Tijuana recently and after coming out of a shop I was stopped by two policemen. The first they said to me was that i bet a woman up! They searched me and I had antibiotics for a flu which i had a prescription for.
They said to me it was an illegal drug and taken me to see the police doctor, i was handcuffed driven around and then they stopped near the border took the handcuffs off me and told me i had two choices pay the fine or go back to the police station.
I had $140 on me they robbed me of $130 and gave me ten dollars to get back to sandiego
i would never visit mexico again
if stopped look for is the number of the police vehicle. . If any cop ever takes money from you report them to the sindicatura. You can find an online form to fill out at Tijuana.gob.mex. Dont be rude but just tell them you prefer to see the judge and let him handle the matter. Never report a cop to a cop do it thru 066 or the sindicatura. If they stop you ask for a ticket if you really did violate a traffic law. IF you are a tourist stay in the tourist areas and dont venture out in the colonias especially walking. At night and even during the day they have what they call operativos where they drive around in vans with the van doors open with cops just waiting to jump out and grab the first person they see that looks good. The safest way to come to tijuana in a group and take a taxi from the border straight to where you need to go. As long as you are in a taxi you wont have any problems. It is worth the 5dlls. If you are coming for lets put it a good time the taxi drivers will know where you can find that good time and have your good time without being harrased by the cops. They will also wait for you while you are having your good time to make sure you get back to any other destination you needed to go. Right now there is no law in tijuana. The cops do as they please. How do I know. Because I have lived here now for over 12 years. What ever you do stay away from the temptation of buying drugs if thats your thing. The people selling downtown are hooked up with the cops and as soon as they sell you something more than likely you will get picked up. once again any time you have any contact with any cop look for the number of the vehicle they are driving.
It goes without saying: Behave yourself in Tijuana. Most of the stories about corrupt cops may very well not be true, but why would you take the chance to find out? Tijuana cops, for the most part, are used to seeing arrogant and irreverent Americans getting drunk in their streets. It doesn't mean they have to tolerate anything beyond getting drunk.
I have been going to tijuana very often for the last 7 months to visit my girlfriend and fortunally I have never had any problems with the police although my girlfrien says that TJ cops are very corrupted and they can stop me for no reason, they can make something up to get some money from me $20. will probably get me out of trouble, my suggestions are not to drink and drive, stay in a hotel very close to restaurants and bars, preffer in plaza rio tijuana area, away from downtonwn tj, be really carefull when I travel back and for to the border, planned ahead your way around to the city, obbey all traffic signals; If you get stoped for no reason get cops names and later report them to procuraduria general de turismo in tj, this will help to some day stop this corruptions. To finalized this messages in July 2010, 60 police officers have been encarcelated charged with corruption, extorsionist, drugs affiliation and kidnapting. Thanks God this cops started to pay for some of the damadge they have done to all of us....
stay away from tijuanas police they are not helpful in anything except in taking gifts from you , if you get robbed dont bother reporting it nothing will happen and dont , argue with them for any reason even if you are right , otherwise you will end up in jail for no reason,
My wife and I were in Rosarito Beach and we were coming back to our bed and breakfast. We had only been there for two days and were having trouble negotiating the free road Benito Juarez from the Tijuana Cuota....there seemed to be very few onramps to the cuota as we drove north on the Benito Juarez "free road". Soon we were approaching the outskirts of Tijuana and realized we were too far north and in our confusion we were driving slowly and probably erratically, looking for a frickin way over to the cuota. Well as luck would have it, a Tijuana Police truck "lit up" our brand new car with the American California plates and we pulled over. The police officer said that he suspected me of driving under the influence of alcohol and i told him i was merely confused because it was dark and i was in an unfamiliar area with little lighting and even worse road signs and i was merely driving cautiously. Nevertheless, he insisted that i was drunk and told me that the penalty was $500 and a felony for drunk driving and that it was his word against mind and we were in his country. "Lucky for me" we could settle this with a "fine" of $100 and he and his partner would escort me to the "Cuota or Toll Road" back to our Bed and breakfast in San Antonio del Mar near Rosarito Beach. I told the officer, who identified himself as Arturo Hernandez, that I didn't have $100 in cash on me and he said that it was no problem because he and his partner could escort us to the nearest Pemex station where i could withdraw the $100 from the atm and pay the fine. "how Nice"....so ....we did it...he was very cordial and even chatted up my wife while i went into the station to use that ATM. When i handed him the money, he said thank you and as he got into the Police truck, he and his partner waved goodbye to us. how sweet...We were robbed but only for $77 as the machine only gave me the opportunity to pull one thousand pesos which equals $77 as of this writing. So i guess we got off easy....
I'm just happy that we were able to help the wheels of justice turn in Tijuana...what a pleasant surprise. Next time we will spend our money NOT IN ROSARITO BEACH B.C., but in someplace other than Mexico. Good job Mexicans, you did it again. Another american family with means who will never spend another dollar in your country. Keep up the good work.
i am an american walking through the streets of Tijuana late at night with two local friends. For no reason two local police officers exited their police vehicle, approached me and started searching me. They said I threw something on the ground (I didn't) and accused me of having drugs. They found nothing but hand cuffed me and took me away in their squad car. My friends pleaded with them to no avail. They drove me around city, driving erratically and after about an hour or so they took me to the jail. My local friends were waiting for me outside and tried to give them some pesos but they wouldn't take it and escorted me in hand cuffs inside which was a nightmare. The cells are maxed out with people crammed in like sardines. The next morning I was taken to see a "judge" in a dirty dark room with no windows. Luckily I speak Spanish and said the trumped up charges were ridiculous. I ended up dropping the name of a well known Mexican saying we were friends and they let me go immediately without paying anything. The people in TJ are not afraid of the narcos. They are afraid of the local police and so should anyone visiting there. You see them on every street corner and they are the one you need to be afraid of. No oversight and paid low wages.
If you are not doing something that you shouldnt be doing and are stopped by any police officer the first thing that you MUST do is get the number that is on the side of the police vehicle, if you are in any way afraid since you are not doing anything wrong use your cell phone to call 066 which is just like the US 911. Once the operator answers give them the your location and the number of the police vehicle that has stopped you. Explain that you are not from here and are afraid do the fact that you were not doing anything wrong. By the time the police get to your car they will have been contacted by their supervisor who will also be on their way to your location. Do not hang up with the operator stay on the phone. By doing this you will not be bothered or mistreated in any way. Always stay calm and do not offer any money. If any police officer takes money from you by scare tactics go directly to the sindicatura and report them , you can also do it online and will get results. Any money taken will be returned to you. All you have to do is look at things from a different point of view and will get a better understanding of why the police are the way they are. Since there is so much drug activity going on in Tijuana being the border thousands of US citizens cross the border to buy drugs and do illegal things. The police see this everyday and since they also do not get paid all that well and see people go in and out of jail like nothing they have over the years figure why not get paid and avoid all the hassle of taking the people to jail for little things. The police are human just like anyone else and with time know when someone is bullsh tting them or not. Before traveling to anywhere that you are not familiar with investigate the laws and find out what and what not is legal. I have lived in Tijuana since 94 and only once had a run in with the police by error and by dialing 066 and speaking with the operator I had no problem.