Where we failed in police force recruitment, training
A POINT OF AWARENESS - Preciosa S. Soliven (The Philippine Star) - August 22, 2019 - 12:00am

To make the country understand the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the CRC team representing the Department of Justice, the DSWD, the DepEd, DOLE and National Police, visited major cities in the Philippines. As CRC Popularization Chairman, I was shocked to discover that every city has only half of the police force required. Therefore the recent 118th police service anniversary, which aims to improve service to Filipinos has not proven its patriotic obligation. In 2017, I invited General Ricardo de Leon, then director of the Philippine Safety College to speak to our Operation Brotherhood Montessori Professional High School. What activities take place in his college at Camp Gen. Mariano Castaneda? Why does it always look empty and lifeless?

The PNPA Cadetship Program

The Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Cadetship Program is a four-year educational training program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Public Safety degree. Cadets are required to undergo specialized training programs in basic internal security operation course, close quarter battle, public safety intervention course, basic rescue training, fire safety seminar and International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP). The cadets have the opportunity to join educational tours to our country’s historical places and premier public safety facilities and official visit to Southeast Asian Police Academies. They earn the rank of Inspector under the Tri-Bureau Service: Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine National Police. After graduation they are automatically employed in the government service.

Qualified applicants must be 18 to 22 years old and at least Senior High School graduate upon admission. They must be physically and mentally fit to undergo the cadetship program and must have no pending complaint and /or case before any tribunal involving moral turpitude and other cases against the State.

Recruiting strategy at Police Academy, Kentucky USA

Public Information Officer Ronnie Ward of the Bowling Green Citizen Police Academy entertained me to interview him extensively. The academy, near Nashville Kentucky, provides a pre-employment opportunity to learn firsthand about police operations. Eighteen-year-old senior high school students up to 25-year-old residents of Bowling Green and Warren County are invited to a series of hands-on demonstration and simulated activities, to become better informed about the reality of police work in the community. These are experiences in mock crime scene, a police ride-a-long, mock traffic stops, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and hostage negotiations, undercover drug operatives, and visit to the firing range and fire police weapons.

Candidates must pass the physical test of 18 push-ups / sit ups, a 300-meter dash in 60 seconds. A strict family background test includes visiting the home state where one is born to check the family history, and any record of criminal offense. He or she must be able to answer 300 questions for 3 ½ hours of psychological tests, and must know how to drive and how to use a gun. Otherwise he is taught these skills. A second interview enables the candidate to complete the File Folder. Usually of the initial 100 candidates only 10 percent pass the interview. High school seniors who make it are given free college study grants. This has encouraged an average recruitment of 23 each month for a semester of pre-employment training. Thus, 230 police aspirants undergo this yearly in the city.

Most classes are conducted at the Police Department Community Room. Some off-site visits are made to other relevant locations (jail tour, Justice Center, police firing range). The ten-week program of instruction is comprehensive, with certified officers, supervisors, and civilian instructors with particular expertise conducting each topic. One night per week classes from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. take place during fall (September to November) and spring (March to May) seasons. Classes are limited to 24 citizen-attendees.

The Academy Curriculum covers the following. Overview of Department Operations and Organizations, Criminal Justice System, Patrol Operations, Communications and processing of calls for service, Firearms Training, K-9 (canine dog) Demonstration / Traffic Stops, and Criminal Investigations / Crime Scene Processing and Investigation.

Round-the-clock 911 center patrol and traffic operations

The Bowling Green Police Department Communications Center, also known as the 911 Center, answers emergency and non-emergency calls round-the-clock. Telecommunications dispatch police, fire, animal control and county fire calls for the community. Communications Center personnel are also responsible for entering records into the database of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). These records include wanted and missing persons, stolen vehicles and property, and domestic violence orders.

The patrol operation division performs the most visible functions of policing

The men and women of the Patrol Operation Division perform the most visible and recognized functions of the Bowling Green Police Department. They are the ones that respond to the citizens’ needs. Patrol Officers are seen on the streets behind the wheel of a police car, looking for a lost child, comforting the victim of a crime or arresting an intoxicated driver. Officers serve the approximate 63,000 citizens who reside in Bowling Green, as well as workers and visitors who travel to this city daily. Patrol functions include the responsibility of responding to requests for emergency and non-emergency police service, offender apprehension, deterrence of crime, initial investigation, evidence gathering and maintenance of order within the community. The traffic function includes responding to vehicular collisions, maintaining proper traffic control and flow throughout the city and the issuance of traffic violation citation to encourage compliance with existing traffic laws or ordinances.

Metro Manila urgently needs police districts

The City of Bowling Green with 63,000 residents is divided into 8 police districts. Each district is assigned a sergeant, who can be contacted if a citizen needs to report criminal activities or emergencies. A complete contact information including photos of each district sergeants can be seen in the Bowling Green’s official municipal website (www.bgky.org). Consider the population of Pasig 617,301, Mandaluyong 305,576 and San Juan 121,930. Isn’t this a perfect model for the Philippine National Police to duplicate for major cities?

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