Brazil’s highway police are the latest federal body to suffer from budget cuts. The federal funding crisis, which last week saw Brazilian passports suspended, means highway police will also suffer serious service reductions.
The Federal Highway Patrol (PRF) announced a reduction in policing Brazil’s roads last week. In a statement, they said they would decrease the number of vehicle patrols. They have also suspended air policing and rescues, plus closed operational units throughout the country.
Oversized cargo will no longer receive PRF escorts on federal highways, and the agency’s usual rounds will also stop. Opening hours at administrative units will also change, prioritizing public service between 9AM and 1PM.
The service cuts, which will take place immediately, will affect all active PRF areas in Brazil. Over the next few days, the PRF will announce a schedule for closing their active stations. Additionally, the agency must also announce which activities are suspended in each state.
Federal funding crisis caused severe budget cuts
Highway police says that the federal government cut its emergency funding in March this year. Although the agency will still respond to emergencies, it could struggle. Its approved budget for 2017 was 44 percent lower than requested. As of yet, Brazil’s Planning Ministry has not issued a statement on the cuts.
The agency says that it designed its deactivation schedules with the help of regional planning units. It has arranged for other operational units to cover areas that it will no longer be able to.
“The measures adopted were selected in such a way as to impact as little as possible the final activity,” the PRF’s statement reads. It has also been careful to design a strategy that would allow it to return to full operational capacity as soon as it received funding.
Highway police said that with help from the Ministry of Justice, it is negotiating with the Ministry of Planning. It hopes to recover its budget as soon as possible.
The PRF are not the only federal body to struggle with a reduced budget. Last week, the Federal Police found themselves unable to issue new passports thanks to a lack of funds. But they had resumed the service by yesterday, after Congress adopted measures granting them an extra 102 million BRL.