Military collects donations, teaches Rio police about phones

File - In this Feb.20, 2018 file photo, Brazilian marines stand in guard next to an armored vehicle a during surprise operation in Kelson's slum in Ri

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The general leading a military policing intervention effort in the state of Rio de Janeiro says the mission includes seeking private donations for cash-strapped police forces, teaching officers not to use their smartphones on the job and encouraging businesses to invest because security is improving.

Gen. Walter Souza Braga Netto made the comments on Wednesday during a forum on the military takeover of security in the state.

President Michel Temer ordered the military response in February after muggings and robberies were caught on camera in affluent areas of Rio de Janeiro during Carnival celebrations.

The intervention has been controversial. Civil rights groups argue it does nothing to address the issues behind rising violence, such as inequality, a lack of social services and unemployment.