WE DO not want to see overstaying policemen in coffee shops. Coffee breaks have limits and coffee break does not happen every hour. Policemen are expected to be in their assigned areas of responsibility to serve and protect. Serve the people and protect them from any harm. Protect the property of the government and the private individuals as needed. Some businessmen would want their properties to be safeguarded by their security guards.
Recently, we have monitored in radio programs and newspaper reports that small and big crimes in towns and cities have increased. We always look forward to the services of our guardians for peace and order… our policemen. We lack policemen to serve our increasing population but this should not be the reason why small and big crimes cannot be stopped. Our policemen can always be in their full time peacekeeping operations. They should not hibernate. We need police visibility in times like this.
How do we perceive our policemen? We want to see a “police malinis.” They should properly wear their uniform, project a good posture. They should be approachable and friendly and their vehicles should be marked properly as “police patrol” and the signs should be visible to the public. We want them to be vigilant not “pulis patola” or “police with pot bellies.” It is good for them, as directed by their chief of police, to conduct checkpoint and check choke points.
Our policemen should be reminded always of “Tamang Ugali; Tamang Gawain.”
People expect “Pulis Magalang” in the performance of duty. They should avoid smoking while on duty especially that we have a new national law now that smokers can only smoke in specific areas. Our policemen should pay attention to its implementation. They have to monitor loading and unloading areas. There are drivers who do not know how to follow traffic rules. They can check on the performance of the traffic enforcers assigned in the area.
The presence of our policemen should be felt in schools, colleges, and universities. It is good to see those attending flag ceremonies and other school activities. They should spearhead in the conduct of dialogue or symposium on the update of peace and order, proliferation of illegal drugs, and the role of fraternities… and if needed distribute pamphlets.
The same thing should be done in churches or places of worship. They have to coordinate with religious leaders.
They have to zero in on malls, business centers and factories. They have to maintain communication line with the head of safety and security departments. There is a necessity to conduct patrol within the vicinity after asking permission from the company manager. The same routine activity could be done to the banks. Policemen should check the bank alarm system. The gadgets should not just be props only… and that includes the CCTV and fire extinguishers.
Vital installations should not be neglected… rural electrification companies, solar power farms, waterworks, and similar structures. The people love to see our policemen conducting patrol in subdivisions and residential areas especially during the unholy hours when thieves are expected to strike. The head of security or the community leaders would like to welcome that. That could be an effective way of checking the alertness of the blue guards.
They should also meet the vendors’ officials and the village chairman in the area to secure the market. Near the market, there are congested and crime-prone areas to be given extra attention. Coordination should be made with the watchmen, civil security personnel, and village watchmen.
Our tourism-related establishments would need frequent monitoring considering the influx of both local and foreign tourists. These would include hotels, restaurants, museums, parks, shrine, resorts, beaches and other tourist spots. Even beer houses, coffee houses, fast food chains, and short-time havens should be included in the police visibility schemes. They have to be in the close watch for suspected terrorists, drug pushers, and pimps operating in unexpected places.
To check deadly weapon and unlicensed firearms, it is good to conduct a regular “Kapkap Bakal” operation together with village officials, establishment representatives, and some media men. Our policemen are even expected to patrol the coastal areas to check the landing of contraband items, the use of dynamite in fishing, and know situations affecting environmental issues. This could be risky. They have to organize their advance party to secure the perimeter and route of patrol.
In serving and protecting, our policemen have many things to consider other than day-to-day obligation. They should be in relief, recovery, search, rescue, evacuation, and security. As expected, we have man-made crisis and emergencies, and the natural crisis and emergencies occur anytime.
You have been chosen to become policemen. Your horizon of service is wider than what you have thought of. You are not just the policemen of your president. You are the policemen of the people.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on August 26, 2017.
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