THE increasing number of crime in Benguet's capital town has pushed law enforcers to take action with community engagement to deter crimes.
When assigned to take over as the new chief of police of La Trinidad in January this year, Major Cleff Vencio was keen on keeping crime volume down.
"Based on Geographic Information System (GIS) crime mapping and on what we see, the crimes were no longer happening in one area, now we didn't focus the deployment on one area," Vencio said.
GIS can identify the type of crime committed in a certain place and period of time and is seen as an effective tool to lessen number of crimes. But this measure is not enough alone, thus the need to change strategies and innovate systems to fight criminals.
Most of the crime in La Trinidad happen within in the town's central business district which includes Barangays Balili, Betag and Pico.
Aside from the GIS, the police station continues to implement previous programs, projects, and activities by his predecessors, including the "Strawberry," which addresses traffic, crime, and community relations.
Strawberry stands for Sustaining a good Traffic direction, decongestion and Re-routing of vehicles And enhance a good Working partnership among the Municipality, Barangay and the Community in Enforcing all Rules and Regulations to Reduction crimes in the Municipality.
Vencio added the program has been continuously implemented and being innovated.
Part of the job to reduce the number of crime is participation of the whole 147 personnel of La Trinidad Municipal Police Station (LTMPS) from the operation, investigation section.
In order to have high crime clearance and crime solution efficiency, the police chief added the investigation detective beat have been following up cases and operations unit have been focusing on the arrest criminals in the town.
"Crime clearance is up because of the detectives. There are many cold cases that they solved," said Vencio.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the LTMPS led the installation of boxes in public areas to maintain physical distancing, one of the minimum health protocols.
This was also placed at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post, Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center.
LTMPS also heeded to call of PNP's 'Kapwa Ko, Sagot Ko' program that enjoins all PNP personnel to support indigent families amid the strict community quarantine imposed due to Covid-19.
In the town, LTMPS, together with a private partner reached out to more than 300 families and the construction of a new home for a senior citizen.
LTMPS was also hailed as the Best Municipal Police Station nationwide.
In the virtual 119th Police Service Anniversary celebration last week, LTMPS was awarded best municipal police station "for exemplary performance upholding the PNP mission of enforcing the law, preventing and controlling crimes, maintaining peace and order, and ensuring public safety and internal security, with the active support of the community for the period of July 1,2019 to March 15, 2020, consequently raising the standards of police service in PNP organization."
Vencio said the award is the result of a concerted effort of LTMPS personnel, the participation of all community including the support of local government unit and the support of lawmakers.
"This is the award of all people of La Trinidad, this is our award," Vencio said.
Aside from the plaque, the municipal police station was also a recipient of unit streamer and a P350,000 from President Duterte.