Garcia prioritizes crime prevention

Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin N. Garcia. (File photo)

ACTING Cebu City Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia has announced his sole “marching order” for police in the city and that is to increase visibility ahead of the Palarong Pambansa.

In a visit to the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, Garcia outlined his expectations, which include intensified beat patrols in critical areas, establishments, and schools.

Garcia met with police station commanders and CCPO chief Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

In his speech, Garcia said he wants the public to feel the presence of the police on the streets, especially in densely populated areas, and with the upcoming Palarong Pambansa 2024 this July.

“I only have one marching order on my watch! We need to increase police visibility! We need beat patrols in every critical area of the city, especially in the crime-prone areas,” said Garcia, who is on his second day as acting mayor.

Garcia also held a command conference with all police officials to assess the city’s crime and security situation.

The acting mayor said the police need to focus on fighting illegal drugs, which he said, is the root cause of crimes.

Garcia, however, noted that the crime problem in Cebu City has not been as severe as it used to be. Still, he said, the police must not let their guard down on crime prevention, as crimes seem to have slowly increased again.

Garcia acknowledged that ensuring security for the Palarong Pambansa is a significant challenge for the City Government and the police, as thousands of athletes and delegates nationwide will converge in Cebu City this July.

Response

Dalogdog informed Garcia that they have indeed strengthened police visibility and will adjust their deployment immediately in response to any incidents.

Dalogdog said beat patrollers have already been deployed on the streets and were ordered to engage with the community in addition to just conducting patrols.

“Actually, we’ve been doing that already. It’s also the order of our regional director at the Police Regional Office to not just have police presence felt by the community. Cops need to talk to people because that’s really one way to lower crime,” Dalogdog said in Cebuano.

Dalogdog said the crime volume in Cebu City decreased by 7.38 percent in the first quarter of 2024.

From January 1 to May 13, 2023, the CCPO recorded 3,333 crimes in Cebu City; while a total of 2,769 cases were recorded for the same period this year.

The acting mayor expressed his full support for the city police to ensure a peaceful and safe Cebu City.

Garcia started the duties as acting mayor on Monday, May 13, following the six-month preventive suspension of Mayor Michael Rama by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Rama and seven other City Hall officials were suspended for allegedly reassigning and withholding the salaries of four City Hall employees since July 2023.

Rama also failed to reinstate the workers to their original positions despite a decision of the Civil Service Commission that granted their appeal. / AYB, WBS

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