BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/09 November)—The city police has requested for additional policemen and the installation of more closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras to suppress the increasing criminal activities in the locality, said Sr. Supt. Nerio Bermudo, acting city police director.
Due to lack of police manpower, Bermudo said that uniformed personnel are thinly stretched across the city.
“We have already asked the support of our barangay tanods (village watchmen) as well as coordinated with the army to back us up. Right now, we’ve set up combined police and army check points covering entry and exit points around the city,” he said.
Police visibility in the city has decreased after the pullout of those undergoing the police Field Training Program (FTP), Bermudo said, adding it resulted to the sudden rise in robbery incidents.
Bermudo said they have requested 50 additional policemen from the Police Regional Office 13 (PRO-13), out of those who graduated last November 8, to boost the city’s police force.
There are currently eight CCTV cameras installed in the city that are of big help in fighting criminality, with eight more being installed in strategic locations, to make up for the absence of police visibility, Bermudo noted.
Chief Supt. Carmelo Valmoria, PRO-13 director, said that plans are already up for the additional deployment of personnel, especially now that the Yuletide season is fast approaching, not just for this city but other localities in the region.
“We need to increase our police visibility to deter unwanted acts of violence and crime,” Valmoria said.
He lauded the efforts of this city to install additional CCTV cameras, hoping this will be emulated by other localities in the region.
“These state of the art cameras [are a] huge help in our crime prevention campaign and in helping us solve documented crimes. We know how limited our human resources are, and the camera can help us see more areas,” Valmoria added.
City councilor Ryan Culima, chairman on the Committee on Police and Peace and Order, lamented that the rise of criminal activities has caused a huge problem for the city.
He attributed the sudden increase in robbery and other criminal incidents in the city to the pullout of the 74 police personnel undergoing the FTP program, who were withdrawn to further undergo scout trainings.
Culima noted that in two separate meetings with Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. and Valmoria, he requested that aside from the additional police personnel, there should also be policemen riding tandem in motorcycles to provide quick response and hot pursuit operations against criminal elements.
He added the city is currently in the second phase of its CCTV camera installation project, hoping all the 32 cameras could be mounted next year. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)