CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Police regional office Northern Mindanao underscored the importance of community support to help prevent crimes and terrorism threats in celebration of Police Community Relations (PCR) month.
In an episode of Talakayan sa PIA, Police Lieutenant Colonel Elias Hampac, Officer in Charge of the Regional Community Affairs and Development Division said this is an opportune time to strengthen the community participation in crime prevention.
Hampac explained the focus of PNP for this month is to gain support from community to implement crime prevention activities.
The theme this year, “Sambayan, Mahalagang Kaakibat ng Kapulisan sa Pagtaguyod ng Mapayapa at Maunlad na Bayan.”
PNP has already established good relations with the community.
Police LTC Hampac said the lower units, provincial stations have assigned PCR officers to conduct fora and various dialogue especially to students in schools.
Meanwhile, Police LTC Mardi Hortillosa, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO) spokesperson explained they want to maintain peace and order in the city through police visibility.
COCPO implements 95-5 distribution. This means 95% deployment and 5% administrative function to ensure police is present in every area.
The police have also developed crime statistics.
They can now determine where crime usually happens, when, the kind of victims and modus operandi, among others. Hortillosa said, this is to also study and provide the kind of intervention applicable to these incidents.
But there are also criminals who are smart and can still find an area to commit crime where police are not there.
This is the time, Hortillosa said the police need force multipliers and the community itself.
He added, as per instruction of the new Police City Director Colonel Henry Dampal, police visibility should be maximized.
COCPO has put up checkpoints in borders and main highways as response to the heightened alert against terrorism threats.
“The community should not only rely to police especially on terrorism threats because not all information can be sought by the police or the intelligence community,” Hortillosa said.
Bombings in Cagayan de Oro and Marawi have proven how community can help prevent these incidents, he added.
Right now, Hortillosa said they have good relations with the barangays since barangay tanod or barangay peace and security officer is now under the operation control of the police.
“Before, we always complain about the lack of police personnel, but the question now is what can we do to safeguard our area of responsibility?"
"The barangay is there; you just need to reach out,” Hortillosa said.