Last time I checked there were 80,000 police to protect the eight million residents of the Federal District. (El D.F. is only the central part of greater Mexico City, with its population of 20 million.) There may be more cops today; before he was elected mayor two years ago, one of Marcelo Ebrard’s campaign promises was to increase their number to 100,000.
This is an off-the-charts per-capita ratio compared to other big cities. According to a New York Times report in September of 2006, nine thousand police officers were enough to protect the four million residents of Los Angeles, and New York made do with 37,000 for eight million citizens.
Mexico City cops come in a dizzying variety: preventive police, investigative police, transit police, tourist police, mounted police, auxiliary police, bank police, diplomatic police, industrial police and customs police, among others, each corps with its own uniform.
In the last decade or two, the police department stepped up efforts to hire more women. Mexico City law enforcement is legendarily corrupt, and apparently, the logic was that females are less prone to bribery and other commonplace forms of malfeasance (a notion that tends to be laughed at by Mexican males).
One thing is certain – policewomen are given uniforms with pants so tight that, regardless of whatever infractions of which they might be guilty, they would never be able to get away with smuggling.