Oro cops get combat gears from US

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014


FOR the first time, the police office in the city received 18 Kevlar ballistic helmets and 18 bulletproof vests donated by a police department in the United States in a turnover ceremony held at the Cagayan de Oro Police Office (Cocpo) headquarters in Barangay Carmen on May 12.

This has been made possible by Project Cagay-anons Help in Peace Initiatives (CHIP-In).

The equipment was given by the Florida Police Department (FPD) of Tampa, Florida, USA, and has been donated to Nazareth barangay chair Jocelyn Rodriguez.

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The police protective gears were then turned over to Cocpo particularly for Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) group.

"They [FPD] were upgrading, too. So some of the equipment that they were not using anymore, they gave it to us," Gonda said.

The vests are level two in terms of their performance standards. Police Chief Inspector Lemuel Gonda said that the vests are good for close-quarter combats such as raids and clearing operations.

Gonda said the anterior and some other parts of the vests are to be customized.

"This is really helpful to them (SWAT). Their confidence in the field will be boosted because of this high-end equipment. Abante gyud sila ana (They are more advance with those [equipment])," Gonda ended.

Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares, Cocpo director, said that petty crimes are minimized these days because of the police visibility and the series of clearing operations in the city.

Community support

However, he refuted the idea that security should only be relied upon the police.

"It's a must that there is a community support. The people should also be vigilant enough. When there are crimes, witnesses should be courageous enough to come out, too," Mijares said.

In the recent days, there had been a series of shooting incidents like what happened in barangays Nazareth, Carmen and the latest in Camaman-an on May 12.

Mijares explained that despite the police efforts on the city's security, "criminal elements will also rise because of the growing population. I cannot tell about the ratio because there is a fluctuation; naay times na daghan ang buntag, gamay sa gabie and vis-a-vis. This is a metro, investors invest, new businesses open, tourists come – this will also be an open city so crimes are also coming in."

With the new donated equipment, Mijares assured the public that security in the city would be doubled.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 13, 2014.

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