A FEW minutes before he left his post as director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), Senior Supt. Patrocinio Comendador did not forget to do his duty.

“There is no robbery in progress as of now, I already checked the base control operation,” he said in his farewell speech, which drew laughter and applause from the audience.

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Comendador yesterday morning officially gave way to the new CCPO director, Senior Supt. Ramon Melvin Buenafe, in a simple turnover ceremony in Camp Sotero Cabahug.

In his speech, Comendador said when he sat as the city director on Jan. 2, 2007, he was besieged with major cases right away. But he solved them.

“It was not a classic walk in the park. There was no honeymoon period with the media,” he said.

Comendador received the “Medalya ng Kasanayan” (PNP Efficiency Medal) from the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 for his achievements as CCPO director.

He said, in a text message, that he is awaiting orders from Camp Crame to install him as chief of the Regional Investigation Detective Management Branch in PRO 7.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama wished Comendador good luck.

Rama said Comendador has done his job well and he is hoping the police official will achieve more.

“I’m hoping in the higher dimension of heights in his career that he will also be successful in performing his job,” Rama said.

The mayor is optimistic, though, that with Comendador’s record, the former CCPO director has no reason to fail.

Rama also said he was impressed by Buenafe’s plan on how to maintain peace and order in Cebu City.

Buenafe told reporters his primary concern is to prevent crime and eliminate gun-for-hire groups.

To do this, he would strengthen “police visibility” on the streets.

“We have to go out to the streets,” he said. “We have to make our presence prominent.”

Buenafe said there would be no revamp anytime soon. He still has to meet with all the staff and “know the capability and strength” of his people.

He also stressed the importance of the public’s participation in ridding the police force of erring police personnel.

“The public is the indigenous corrective mechanism,” he said. “So I encourage the public to report. We will be strict in giving corrective measure.”

Rama would like Buenafe to also include sports activities, like jogging every month or every weekend, to keep the police going.

He also reiterated his plan to buy motorcycles for the police so they could pursue motorcycle-riding criminals.

He said the City Government will double the P1,000 monthly incentive for the police.