Police to use zoning strategy vs criminality in GenSan

A police checkpoint in General Santos City. MindaNews file photo by ROMMEL REBOLLIDO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 04 August) – The city police will implement a zoning strategy to enhance its security and anti-criminality campaigns.

Lt. Clarizel Perez, the spokesperson of the city police office, said Wednesday they will divide the city into three “sectoral areas of responsibility” to facilitate more focused law enforcement operations.

She said the plan was devised by Col. Gilberto Tuzon, the city police director, to address the rising number of shooting incidents, which has already reached 41 since January.

The three zones will be supervised by the deputy city police director for administration, deputy city police director for operations, and the commander of the city mobile force battalion, she said.

“They will be tasked to lead the operations in these areas and focus more on the unsolved cases,” Perez said in an interview over local television show “Morning Hataw.”

She said the city’s eight police stations, which are situated in strategic areas within the 26 barangays, will be under the proposed zones.

Of the 41 shooting incidents, mostly perpetrated by motorcycle-riding gunmen, she said 22 are already considered solved, with eight cases filed in local courts.

Most of the cases involved personal circumstances and grudges while some were linked to illegal drugs.

She said the ongoing investigation on six of the 19 unsolved cases has made significant progress recently and could lead to the filing of charges against the suspects in the coming days.

Perez said the investigation units handling these cases are continuously monitoring their progress and collecting vital information from possible witnesses and family members, as well as possible footage captured by closed-circuit television cameras.

To complement these efforts, she said their units have expanded the implementation of the “Oplan Katok” or house-to-house checks with identified gun owners in the city.

She said the move is aimed to determine the status of their registered firearms, especially if they have valid registration or licenses, and are still in their possession or already sold to other people.

“Those with expired licenses are considered as loose firearms so we’re tracking them as there is a possibility that they can be used in criminal activities,” she said.

Perez said a number of gun owners have already surrendered them voluntarily to our stations for custody or safekeeping pending the processing of their licenses. (MindaNews)