GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 March) – Police authorities in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao will assign at least 70 additional policemen this year to nearby Koronadal City in South Cotabato in a bid to keep pace with the security needs of the expanding regional center.
City Mayor Peter Miguel said Wednesday he personally received the confirmation on the planned buildup of the city’s police force in a recent meeting with Region 12 police director Chief Supt. Gil Meneses.
He said the police official initially approved the transfer of at least 10 policemen to the city as earlier requested by the local government.
“The transfer of the initial 10 policemen is now being processed by the regional police office and we expect them to report for official duty within this month,” the mayor said.
Aside from the transfer of the 10 policemen, Miguel said Meneses disclosed the upcoming deployment to the area of at least 30 new policemen who are currently undergoing basic training at the Philippine National Police (PNP) regional training school based in this city.
He said the 30 police trainees were among the applicants from the city that were recently hired by the Police Regional Office (PRO) 12.
“Not only that, he (Meneses) asked me to endorse the names of 30 more applicants from the city for inclusion in their ongoing recruitment,” Miguel said.
Regional police officials announced earlier this month the recruitment of more than 300 additional policemen within the first half of the year as part of its continuing personnel buildup.
Meneses said the additional policemen that would be hired will mainly fill up various positions in local police units in the region that had been left vacant due to retirement and reassignment of some police personnel.
He said they will also assign replacements for policemen who had either left their mother units to join the PNP’s United Nations contingent or seek overseas employment.
During the meeting, Miguel said they also discussed various security and law enforcement concerns in the city that needs to be addressed by both the PNP and the city government.
He said Meneses specifically vowed to strengthen their operations against illegal drugs, gambling and other criminal activities in the area.
The mayor said the police official agreed to help upgrade the operational capability of local police personnel and the city police’s special weapons and tactics or SWAT team through various trainings.
“For our part, we offered the necessary logistical support for our police units such as the provision of additional mobile patrol cars and communication equipment,” he added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)