JUAREZ, Mexico, June 8 (UPI) -- Julian Leyzaola, the Juarez, Mexico, police chief who said four of 10 police officers were corrupt, said he expects to fire about 400 officers by year's end.
Leyzaola said the purge is part of the rebuilding process needed to reclaim the city from rampant lawlessness, the El Paso Times reported Wednesday.
So far, the department lost 160 of its 2,300 officers, most of whom have quit, Leyzaola said in one of his first interviews with U.S. reporters since he took command in March.
"Many of those who have left prefer to leave than to get caught," Leyzaola said. "I hope the rest of them understand that we are not going to accept [officers] that do not intend to serve."
Some of the former officers were fired and six were arrested, including three from an elite group under investigation for allegedly participating in kidnapping and other crimes, he said.
Leyzaola said he must clean up the department before adding new officers, expected to happen early next year.
Leyzaola was sworn in as Juarez's new police chief after spending nearly two years as police chief in Tijuana, another Mexican city troubled by drug-related violence.