Colombia is sending 1,400 more police officers to patrol the streets in the western city of Medellin as part of an anti-crime program launched Monday by President Juan Manuel Santos.

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos (C) delivers a speech as Police General Cesar Pinzon Colombia's Defence Minister Rodrigo Rivera, Air Force Commander Julio Gonzalez and Police Chief Oscar Naranjo look on, in BogotaThe city, the only one that saw an increase in homicide cases in the first quarter, will also become home to Colombia’s national police force headquarters, Santos said while launching the program.

The Colombian president said he was concerned about the rise in homicides in Medellin and thus came up with the anti-crime program.

“I have come here to Medellin to place this force at the service of the city, to help combat all kinds of crimes every day, on all fronts,” Santos added.

Official figures showed that from the beginning of the year through March 13, the city registered 335 homicides, 35 more than during the same period last year.

Medellin has been plagued by what Colombians call “Bacrim,” or criminal bands that emerged from the disintegration of the country’s once-active and heavily-armed paramilitary groups.

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