GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/5 Sept) – In a bid to enhance their crime prevention and security operations, police officials in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region are planning to deploy police patrol tricycles in key cities and municipalities in the region.
Chief Supt. Alex Paul Monteagudo, Region 12 police director, said Wednesday they have conceptualized an initiative that would set the rollout of “fuel-efficient and road-tested” motorized tricycles as the region’s main security and patrol vehicle.
He said the proposed police patrol tricycles will mainly be used as the lead vehicle in their community visibility and security efforts as well as other related operational functions, replacing their present motorcycle and four-wheeled police patrol units.
“Our assessment showed that we’ll be saving a lot of money in terms of fuel, repairs and maintenance by using tricycles instead of cars for our operations,” the police official said.
In a project presentation before the city council here, Monteagudo said they moved to adopt the deployment of the police patrol tricycles due to their lower acquisition and maintenance costs when compared to regular patrol cars.
He said their studies showed that a police patrol tricycle unit with complete patrol accessories would only cost about P120,000 to P140,000.
At such cost, he said they could purchase six to eight police patrol tricycle units with the budget for a single Toyota Altis or Isuzu pickup patrol car.
“They’re easier and cheaper to maintain. Motorcycle parts are also readily available anywhere in the area,” the police official said.
Since tricycles are fuel-efficient, Monteagudo said they may utilize their fuel savings to purchase more fuel, which they could use to extend their patrol time.
When compared to single motorcycles, he said the police patrol tricycles have more advantage in terms of creating visibility in a community.
Policemen may take shelter from the searing heat and rain using the tricycle’s canopy instead of just leaving or parking their motorcycles somewhere, he said.
Since tricycles are more visible than motorcycles, he said it would discourage policemen from using them to either go to the market, drive their children to or from school and for other personal purposes.
“Tricycles can accommodate more passengers. It could be used to transport people and even tourists,” Monteagudo said.
Along with personnel from the city police office, the police official said they are currently building a prototype of the proposed police patrol tricycle that they plan to initially deploy in the area.
To help promote its use, he said they initially designed an “attractive” police patrol tricycle for its pilot implementation here.
“This will be unique for the city. Something that could draw tourists later on,” Monteagudo said.
The police official pitched for the project’s funding by the city government saying it could start with an initial allocation of P2.5 to P3.5 million.
He said that with such budget, the city could start with either a fleet of 18 units or two each for the city’s eight police stations as well as the main police office. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)