Wednesday 13th October 2021 – ÁLVARO MONFORT with Mike Smith
On October 12, as is tradition in the municipality, the Guardia Civil of Xàbia opened the doors of the barracks house in a symbolic way to celebrate the big day of its patron saint the Virgen del Pilar, an even more special day of celebration after last year’s suspension due to the COVID-19 crisis.
On this occasion, the national holiday has coincided with a favourable evolution of the pandemic that has led to the lifting of many of the health restrictions imposed by the regional government and has made it possible for residents of the municipality to accompany the officers on their special day. However, the Guardia Civil still established some health protocols to ensure compliance with the basic measures in force and the celebration moved to the playground of the neighbouring CEIP Port de Xàbia located right in front of the barracks, an ideal space to facilitate mobility and distance between attendees.
This year’s events took place as usual, beginning with a Thanksgiving Mass presided over by the parish priests of the municipality, Don Francisco Murillo and Don Salvador Torrent. The parish priest of Benitatxell, Don Jorge López, and the priest attached to the Parish of the Sea, Father Francisco, also participated.
This was followed by the delivering of awards of those members of the security force who have stood out throughout the year and those who have done so in specific activities. In this sense, officer Cristóbal Soto Requena has been recognized with the medal of merit with a white bar. A floral offering was also made in memory of the officers who have died throughout this year in the performance of their duties and symbolic salutes were fired in their honour.
The captain of the Guardia Civil, Javier Soliveres, stressed in his speech that since the beginning of the pandemic, both the security force he directs and the Policía Local of Xàbia and Benitatxell “have been one acting in a joint and coordinated manner with mutual support”. It was a gratitude that he also wanted to convey to the residents “who have conveyed their affection to us, having real details with us that made more bearable the sacrifice we made at that time.”
However, Soliveres has been frank and has made visible the shortcomings they have for the performance of their work (“low availability of staff and resources to unsuspected and alarming levels, coupled with the high number of actions taken”). These conditions have allowed him to declare that “without the involvement and vocation of service of each one of the officers of this unit, it would not have been possible to reach and maintain the high quotas of efficiency that turn to Xàbia and Benitatxell in two of the municipalities with lowest crime rates in the province of Alicante”.
The captain ended by reminding all those comrades who have preceded the current officers: “They are still part of this family, the Xàbia barracks continues to be their home and they, our brothers. We are what we are and we have come this far because others have travelled this path of sacrifice and surrender before”.
The event was attended by the municipal corporation and El Poble Nou de Benitatxell and representatives of the Policía Local, Policia Nacional and local associations and groups.