BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to consider tourist influx and student population in assigning personnel in a certain place.
During the weekly "Ugnayan" presser hosted by dzEQ Radio ng Bayan at City Hall, Domogan scored the PNP's policy basing police assignments on actual residents of local government units (LGU).
He said Baguio City's nighttime population is now at 320,000. "But considering our population doubles with the influx of tourists and students from the city's neighboring LGU's during daytime, the PNP's top brass in Camp Crame should have considered our unique circumstances as tourism and education center."
"This is needed for the police force to be able to address peace and order concerns more effectively," Domogan added.
There are currently 469 policemen assigned in Baguio, roughly giving the city a 1-to-682 cop to nighttime population ratio.
Considering some of the cops are assigned jobs confining them to their respective offices and the rise of the city's population during daytime, the numbers are doomed to suffer up to 1:1000 cop-to-pop ratio placing pressure on the undermanned force.
Ideally, the cop-to-pop ratio is pegged at one cop for every 500 persons.
Meanwhile, Domogan revealed that about 150 fresh cops are due for the Cordilleras this December.
He then asked for the reassignment of some Abra-based policemen back to the city.
Cops were assigned in Abra as a result of "Oplan Balasa" in 2004 where a surmountable number of Abra-based personnel were either relived or reassigned to other areas.
A source at the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) said of the number of cops sent to Abra from Baguio in 2004, only about 10 personnel hoping to go back to Baguio remain there pending reassignment.
The same source suggested the Philippine National Police national headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City to look into amending its 21 personnel per station policy in order to buttress the number of cops in tourism cities like Baguio.
He said: "There are just some municipalities that do not require so many personnel because they are relatively peaceful."
"If only Crame could amend its policy so we could redistribute personnel in places where more of them are needed, we could address the issue on cop-to-population ratio more effectively," the source said.
Domogan, meantime, ordered focus of local cops to overpasses and illegal-vendor infested areas where pickpockets abound.
"By placing our cops there, we are sure to protect a lot of our unsuspecting constituents from pickpockets, thereby reducing index crimes in the city," he said. (Gani Liporada/With Paul Rillorta)