We just returned from a 2-week stay in Mazatlan, and it was absolutely wonderful. Beautiful weather, great food, and the usual friendly Mazatlan people.
One thing different this year than our last 20 in Mazatlan was the HEAVY presence of police patrol vehicles. As you know they patrol with their red and blue flashing lights on all the time, which at night are quite prominent. They were patrolling heavily on Sabola from the Marina to around El Cid. They were in other areas as well, but that path was very prominent - we often counted five to six vehicles traveling in near caravan fashion. Only once did we see them actually acting on an incident, and that involved a rather drunk lady yelling on the sidewalk that she had been robbed by one of the hotels, and it was quickly settled.
The point is that all these patrols create possibly two feelings: We feel safe because there are lots of police around, or we feel in danger because there must be a reason for all these police around. If you are a regular in Mazatlan, it no doubt doesn't bother you. If you are new to Mazatlan it just might make you quite nervous that this much police activity is necessary.
So is Mazatlan contributing to a perception of imminent or current danger with this activity? We think they might be.