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Pacifying Police Unit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Pacifying Police Unit (Portuguese: Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora, also translated as Police Pacification Unit), abbreviated UPP, is a law enforcement and social services program pioneered in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which aims to reclaim territories, most commonly favelas, controlled by gangs of drug dealers. The program was created and implemented by State Public Security Secretary José Mariano Beltrame [pt], with the backing of Rio Governor Sérgio Cabral. The stated goal of Rio's government is to install 40 UPPs by 2014. By May 2013, 231 favelas had come under the UPP umbrella.[needs update] The UPP program scored initial success expelling gangs, and won broad praise. But the expensive initiative expanded too far, too fast into dozens of favelas as state finances cratered, causing a devastating backslide that enabled gangs to recover some of their lost grip.[1]

Composition of a unit of the Polícia Pacificadora (UPP), here on the occasion of the ceremony for the change of command of the units.

UPP sought to implement "community-oriented policing" (in contrast to militarized policing).[2] According to one study, the effectiveness of UPP depended a lot on how preexisting criminal gangs were organized in any given territory.[2] In territories where criminal gangs effectively reduced violence and maintained order, UPP's presence was seen as undesirable by the community.[2] However, in territory where gangs did not restrain crime and violence, UPP officers were perceived by the community as legitimate.[2]