Valenzuela gets friendly 'paw-lice' force

Marc Jayson Cayabyab - Philstar.com
Valenzuela gets friendly 'paw-lice' force
Valenzuela City Mayor Rexlon Gatchalian presents the members of the city police's own K9 unit composed of six dogs.
Philstar.com / Marc Jayson Cayabyab

MANILA, Philippines — The Valenzuela city police force got a new boost in its anti-illegal drugs and terrorism operation, now that it has its own set of canine dogs, who will serve as the city's "paw-lice" force.

Mayor Rexlon Gatchalian on Friday paraded the members of the city police's own K9 unit at the city's Alert Center. It is composed of six dogs - Jhunjay, a Labrador Retriever; Michael, a Belgian Malinois; Onyok, a Jack Russel; Tanyo, a Belgian Malinois;  Zanjo the beagle, and Zeus a Labrador Retriever.

Gatchalian said he takes pride that Valenzuela city is the only local government unit with its own K9 unit.

With their training to detect illegal drugs and explosives, the dogs were purchased by the city government at P350,000 each, according to the city's public information office.

The city government also spent P4 million to renovate the old fire station into a 400 square-meter canine kennel for the "paw-lice" force.

Gatchalian also led the turnover of 41 Crosswind vehicles, equipped with a global positioning system and dashboard cameras, as the new mobile cars of the Valenzuela city police force.

An additional 19 Hilux pick-ups will arrive this month, for a total of 60 fully-equipped mobile cars, to ensure better mobility and monitoring for the city's police force, Gatchalian said.

The city government has spent P1,017,740 for each police vehicle, for a total of P61,064,400 for all 60 units.

"Tayo ang una na equipped with the call of the times... Pinaiigtingan natin ang laban sa droga at terorismo, which are everybody's problems," Gatchalian said.

The additional assets for the Valenzuela cops would pave the way for a "self-sustained police force," he added.

The city will soon have its own Special Weapons and Tactics headquarters and firing range for the police, Gatchalian said, adding that the government has also procured 47 units of bushmaster 6.56 rifles, 40 caliber .40 revolvers, and two sniper rifles for its SWAT team.

After the program, members of the Special Reaction Unit held a simulation of its operations using its new police vehicle and the canine dogs.

Valenzuela as model for LGUs

Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa, who graced the event as guest of honor, lauded the Valenzuela city police force as a "model" for other local government units.

He said the Valenzuela city cops have not caused the PNP any problems, unlike its "neighbor," referring to the Caloocan city police where the entire force were sacked following the killings of teenagers in its operations.

"Napakagaling, 'di kagaya ng dating kapitbahay niyo na maraming nagawang pagkakamali. Sobrang gigil sa trabaho nila," Dela Rosa said, referring to the relieved Caloocan city police officers who face charges for allegedly killing teenagers Kian delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman.

Dela Rosa vowed a less bloody anti-illegal drugs operations, now that the police force will get a salary increase.

He also thumbed down the need for body cameras, especially now that the narcotics crackdown will stay true to its name "Tokhang," which means knock and plead.

He called on the police to bring back the "peaceful" spirit of the operation - knocking on doors of suspected drug personalities and calling on them to go back to the fold of the law.

"Sa Tokhang, kailangan mo pa ba ng body cam doon? Kakatok ka lang, makiusap, wala ka naman gagawin na police action doon eh," Dela Rosa said.



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