Holy Week observance ‘peaceful and normal’-A A +A
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
“PEACEFUL and normal” was the assessment of the Lapasan police station of the Holy Week when the Agora integrated bus terminal was packed with passengers who went home during the holidays.
Police Inspector Evan Nequito Viñas, Lapasan police chief, led the operation to ensure the safety of the people at the terminal.
He said they enforced police presence with disruption operations, checked the commuters and inspected their luggage and baggage as they checked in and out of the bus terminal.
The security guards of Rural Transit Mindanao Incorporated (RTMI) and Mega Farms were assisted by Lapasan police personnel.
Police Inspector Danny Calurasan, deputy station commander and overall supervisor of the terminal and Market City, said they had three operating units.
First was the paneling inspection. This is the part where police personnel scout the area for unusual objects and suspicious-looking people.
Second was the baggage inspection. The terminal has one entrance, so, they prepared metal detectors and a canine (K9) unit by the ticket booth to spot if there were prohibited items in the belongings of the passengers.
Last was the monitory team. This is where their intelligence operatives will be dressed as civilians to blend with the people for further security purposes.
Police with laminated replicas that contained faces of known terrorist groups boarded their respective buses to check the passengers (including luggage compartments) at departure and arrival areas at the terminal.
They also established Police Assistance Desk (PAD) inside the terminal facility to assist passengers’ complaints and queries.
They also performed crime prevention measures involving maximum police presence, mobile police checkpoints, traffic management and control along major roads leading toward major converging places, entertainment places, religious spots, transportation terminals, public and private vital installations and residential areas in order to deter the occurrence of crimes during the observance of the Holy Week.
During the Holy Week, crimes against people and properties were lessened, compared to last year’s.
There were 29 crimes reported throughout the week. Last year, there were 37 crimes reported.
Guided by the assessment report of the Lapasan police, the city was entirely peaceful and normal because of the police assistance center established in different strategic areas in their areas of responsibility, aside from the continuous police presence and visibility, checkpoint and heightened beat patrol.
“[Lapasan police] has coordinated with other law enforcement agencies, local government units (LGUs), nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and religious sectors to develop, formulate and maintain an effective security system to adequately prevent any act of lawlessness in this year’s Lenten Season,” read the police station’s assessment report. ( Lynyrd Alexsei N. Corrales, XU-DevCom Intern)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 22, 2014.