Police-community partnership keeps peace in villages

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Thursday, January 3, 2013


THE effective partnership between the police and community in crime prevention and solution largely accounts the steady decrease in index and non-index crimes in Western Visayas, especially in Iloilo City.

The Barangay Peacekeeping Operations (BPO) is one of the major projects of the Police Regional Office Western Visayas (PRO-6).

A pet project of PRO-6 Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., the BPO is a new concept of community policing that seeks to empower all stakeholders in the community to share the responsibility of peacekeeping, order and maintenance.

Its implementing arm is the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams (BPATs), chaired by the village chief, with his officials and other force multipliers from non-government organizations, government organizations and other people’s organizations within the barangay with good moral conduct are mobilized.

The barangay is the first line of defense against internal and external threats and PRO-6 in 2012 manifested its undying quest to make the region a better place for everyone to live, work, invest and do business in partnership with the community and other stakeholders.

In Iloilo City, the BPATs are popularly known as the “Chocolate Boys” in spic and span monochromatic brown uniform.

Cruz said this initiative is a catch-all crime prevention, anti-terrorism, barangay justice and disaster preparedness, search, rescue and evacuation strategy.

The province of Iloilo has a total of 1,721 barangays in 43 towns and 1,683 barangays have organized BPATs with 12,849 members.

The province of Antique follows with 18 towns and 590 barangays; BPATs were organized in 563 barangays and posting 4,416 members.

Capiz province has 17 towns and 473 barangays with 450 barangays organized their own BPATs with 8,973 members. The province of Aklan completed organizing their BPATS in 18 towns, including Boracay Island with 327 barangays and 4,880 members.

Negros Occidental has 31 towns and 601 barangays with only 335 barangays with BPATs and 3,929 members. Iloilo City has 180 barangays and 135 barangays were organized with 1,220 BPAT members.

Bacolod City has 61 barangays completely organized with BPATs with 1,126 members; while the island province of Guimaras with 98 barangays and 88 barangays organized with BPATs with 658 members.

Alongside with the operational accomplishments of PRO-6 are its administrative innovations and best practices.

Among these are the rehabilitation of Camp Delgado Hospital with an ambulatory surgical clinic; construction of a Learning Center in Aklan PPO; launching of Persons' with Disabilities (PWD) desks; re-launching of PRO-6 Website; and launching of the BPAT Portal.

PRO-6 pioneered the institutionalization of PWD desk and the operation of BPAT Portal in the country.

PRO-6 also sustained its drive to cleanse its ranks by dealing with the erring members.

With 314 administrative cases, 254 were resolved resulting in the dismissal of 14 police personnel, five demotions, 53 suspended, 28 with forfeited salary, 19 reprimanded and 11 dropped from roll.

The police command is sustaining its operations against illegal drugs and sustained police operations with 385 persons arrested, 227 cases filed in courts and more than P5.5 million worth of illegal drugs were recovered and confiscated.

A total of 809 persons were arrested due to operations against illegal gambling, 345 cases filed, and confiscation of P219,478.40 bet money among others.

A total of 82 persons were also arrested, leading to recovery of lumber with an estimated value of more than P2.2 million, while a total of 218 persons were arrested from 928 operations conducted and the filing of 185 cases in court for robbery and hold-ups.

Local news

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