ALL police directors in Western Visayas were directed to conduct an immediate review of crisis management and decision making capabilities and speed-up the preparation for upcoming simulation exercises.

With lessons learned from Monday's bloody Luneta hostage incident in Manila, Police Regional Director Samuel D Pagdilao Jr., ordered the continuous retraining of Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) and Public Safety Battalion units on anti-hostage and terrorism operations especially in bus, building, boat and airplane assault tactics.

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Pagdilao also ordered the immediate inventory of equipment of Swat and Public Safety Battalion units to ensure that they have the basic equipment to deal with a crisis especially to a hostage drama.

The regional police chief said he will push for the continuous training and repetitive conduct of simulation exercises in order to inculcate in the minds of these special operatives the step-by-step method that must be followed in responding to situations like the hostage drama in Luneta that claimed the lives of eight foreign tourists.

Pagdilao also ordered police directors in Western Visayas to organize a pool of negotiators and to train them to become expert in handling hostage negotiation, which he said, is essential in defusing the psychological pressure on the part of the hostage taker. (Lydia C. Pendon)