Governor Daniel Peralta is threatening to call a security emergency in the province of Santa Cruz if police officers reject his latest offer and continue to strike.
“We do not want to involve national forces but we may be forced to call a security emergency because if this is not an emergency, than what is?” said Peralta in a statement to the province.
The strike has been going on for 13 days and with the police absence the number of thefts has been steadily increasing.
Places like Caleta Olivia have been forced to close their shops for fear of theft after one case of armed robbery within the city and five cases reported in Rio Gallegos. In the tourist town of Calafate there are only 17 policemen patrolling the entire area according to La Nacion.
If a security emergency is called national police officers will be called in to ensure the safety of the province.
Peralta will give police officers 24 hours to accept the offer of a 34% increase in salaries starting this month and going till June 2013. In his initial proposal he offered the same increase but not starting until January.
Peralta has also offered to change the starting salary of a police officer to $6627.
However, police say they will not budge from a starting salary of $9000 and an increase of up to 90%.
Yesterday negotiations failed between the Minister of Government, Paola Knoop, the Economy
Minister, Ariel Ivovich, and the Chief of Police, Jorge Hassan.
According to Hassan the police officers will look at the proposal and in the meantime develop a security scheme for the people.