BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/13 April)—Thirty-five police officers here underwent a two-day crash course on advanced motorcycle riding techniques in line with the fight against criminals riding tandem in motorcycles to make their hit.
Senior Supt. Nerio Bermudo, city police director, said the motorcycle handling training that concluded on Thursday was part of the ongoing program to upgrade the skills of policemen in fighting criminality in the locality.
“We have seen several robbery incidents involving motorcycle-riding criminals. The training will give our police personnel the edge when they go after the perpetrators. The training involves different levels of efficiency in handling motorcycles expertly to avert accidents while performing their tasks,” said Bermudo.
The city police have acquired 10 brand new additional motorcycles, and the training was part of the deal with the supplier, he said.
Bermudo noted the city police office has only two functioning motorcycles but augmented by the motorcycles personally owned by policemen provided with gasoline allowances.
Aided by 16 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in strategic places of the city and several new hand-held radios, Bermudo said the police motorcycle team could respond quickly to different situations concerning peace and order.
Ronan Gamutan, chief safety riding instructor from Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc., commended the policemen who took part in the two-day training.
“It’s been easy teaching them since they have been riding motorcycles for a while. What we added are the skills and technical efficiency for them to be able to expertly maneuver and ride with ease no matter what the situation might be,” he said.
Gamutan admitted that several of the trainees had a hard time hurdling the advanced courses, with some of them falling from their motorcycles.
“The course required them to learn controlling the motorcycle during skid and slippery situations. We also taught them to drift while making sudden U-turns, which we hope would be very effective in close quarter pursuits,” he said.
Councilor Ryan Culima, chair of the committee on police and public order, said they conceptualized the training program late last year.
“Late last year, we saw several robberies gaining momentum involving criminals riding tandem in motorcycles. But it took us some time to implement the concept until the release of the additional budget from the intelligence fund,” he said.
The P16 million was used to fund the purchase of the CCTV cameras, radios and the additional motorcycles, Culima said.
The city councilor said he pushed the motorcycle handling training for the city’s police force for them to have an “advantage” over criminal groups operating in the area.
“We need to boost the confidence level of our policemen. It’s one thing to go after criminals with good motorcycle drivers, and it’s another thing worrying about your driving skills and try not to get yourself killed by the motorcycle you’re driving,” he said.
Culima revealed plans to acquire additional motorcycles for the city police force and minimize the use of patrol cars to save on gasoline expenses.
Police Officer 2 Junie Morillon, one of the trainees, said the course was very helpful in that they acquired new motorcycle riding skills.
“The crash course was hard but as we become more and more comfortable with the motorcycles and with our newly learned skills, it became easy after repeated practice. This will surely be an advantage for us in the field,” he said. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)