A Police Encounter in Mexico Worth Sharing

Source: Q-Roo Paul

Last month, Linda and I spent a couple of days in Puerto Morelos to attend the annual beer festival called Soy Cerveza. If you are a regular reader of the blog, you may remember seeing a post about that event.

After a fun filled afternoon of sampling artisanal Mexican beers, we decided it was time to leave the event and walk back to our hotel a couple of blocks away. As we neared the exit, a municipal police officer — with a big smile on his face — told us in English to have a nice day. Since we were in no hurry, I stopped to chat with him a few minutes.

I was instantly impressed by this young officer. He had a very positive attitude and he really seemed to enjoy his job. He told me that he was studying both English and Italian for the sole purpose of being able to better communicate with tourists. He commented that it is difficult to help someone if you cannot understand what their problem is.

Before leaving, I took the opportunity to ask a couple of questions that I had about Mexican law and he was able to answer them without hesitation. He was articulate, professional and knowledgeable.

Prior to starting my new life as a beach bum in Mexico, I was a deputy sheriff for 25 years in Florida. That is why I am always interested in learning more about the law and the legal system in Mexico.

A common custom among cops from all over the world is to trade uniform patches. I know officers who have collected hundreds of patches over the course of their careers. Although I don’t collect patches anymore, I still carry a few with me in case I meet an officer who does.  

When we got back to the hotel, I grabbed a patch and headed back to the event. We met with the officer inside the police station and I gave it to him. He was extremely grateful and he apologized for not having a patch to give me in return. I told him not to worry about it.

He offered to meet with me the next afternoon to give me a patch; however, I told him that we would be leaving early in the morning. He then did something very unexpected. He took out a pocketknife, carefully removed the police patch from his cap and handed it to me.

I was so surprised that I tried to hand it back to him, but he refused to take it.

This officer not only exemplifies the positive qualities of a good police officer, he also exemplifies the generosity of the Mexican people.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

30 Comments on "A Police Encounter in Mexico Worth Sharing"

  1. Great experience! Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a great story!!

  3. It’s great to hear this story of a positive nature. I’m sure they happen frequently, but are not of a “sensational” flavor, hence they don’t make the news.

  4. Wonderful experience. Thank you.

  5. What an uplifting story!
    I just joined your blog last week and an thoroughly enjoying it!
    I live in Sonoma County, California.

  6. MARK QUIRING | August 7, 2016 at 12:46 pm |

    Restores faith in humanity, totally unexpected, that’s what makes your encounter so great! Thanks

  7. So great to hear a positive story like that! In the States, we mostly hear how ‘lawless’ it is in Mexico. Like ALL places, there are good and bad. Thanks for sharing the good. But I also believe, you get back the energy you put out there; clearly you put out very good energy and interest!

  8. Very positive encounter, Qroo Paul…thanks
    for sharing!

  9. Trevor Gregg | August 7, 2016 at 2:03 pm |

    Thanks for sharing such a positive experience with a Mexican LEO. So many stories leave me nervous when I am about to embark on moving from Canada to the Yucatan. Driving with a trailer full of the last of my possessions is somewhat nerve wracking.

    • Wow, that is a very long drive. We have had very positive interactions with law enforcement in this area. There is a substantial police presence in many areas, so interactions are inevitable. We drive through at least two police checkpoints on any given day. Personally, it makes me feel much safer.

  10. Edward Essick | August 7, 2016 at 2:38 pm |

    i’m enjoying you blogs. And I’m inspired by your sense of adventure. My wife and I are now in our mid 60’s and plan to retire soon. We’re looking at 3 different locations in Mexico. Your information is very helpful.

    • Thanks for reading the blog. I hope you are able to narrow it down to the perfect place. That can be a tough decision to make.

  11. Great little story, thanks for sharing.
    There definitely is a brotherhood amongst first responders.
    My hubby is retired fire and no matter where we go, he must give a nod to his fellow firefighters…

  12. Kevin Steeves | August 7, 2016 at 6:45 pm |

    Thanks for the story Paul, enjoyed reading it. We go through roadblocks or checkpoints on a daily basis. My wife waves and smiles at them each time until she gets a response. Now they know us and often wave first. It’s all about positive attitudes.

    • I agree. We are always friendly, especially when we get stopped at one of the checkpoints.

  13. Thank you very much –We have heard other stories that are not so good.in fact worry some.Its nice to hear /read this encounter you have had.

    • Thanks for commenting. There has been a big push to improve the police across the country and I think we are seeing the results of that. I will be talking more about that in a future post.

  14. We winter just outside of Telchac Yucatan and we have always had very positive experiences with the policia in and around Merida! And believe me our Spanish is less that non existent! Perhaps in not her parts of Mexico the police are to be feared but where we live they are very helpful & friendly!

  15. I’m glad to see that there are positive things to share when we speak about the police in Mexico.
    However, I acknowledge that most of our police officer are not that kind.

    • We have met quite a few good ones and Mexico has done quite a bit to improve the police in recent years (reforma judicial, examenes de control y confianza). I will have a post on some of those programs very soon. Thanks for reading the blog.

  16. great story , thanks. I’m moving there( retiring) this winter; will be looking for a place either north or south of Tulum on the beach . Your blog has been helpful. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and life.

  17. I found your blog a few months ago, when I started the house hunting (now buying) process in Mexico. Tonight, in a moment of panic and thoughts of ‘what am I doing?’….I revisited this post, and find it heart-warming and comforting. People are people, regardless where you are…and you receive what you give. Thanks for your continued posts…they do make a difference!

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