PAMPANGA, Philippines – Will you feel safe if the police patrolling the streets are busy texting?
Chief Superintendent Amador Corpus raised and answered this question himself when he took over the leadership of the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) on Friday, September 1.
“I am directing all unit commanders to strictly implement the no-text policy among all police officers performing visibility, road security, and other civil operations,” Corpus told provincial and city police chiefs and heads of police units during his assumption ceremony in Camp Julian Olivas here.
The PRO3 director said the no-text policy must be fully implemented in two months, or before the province hosts the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings in Clark Freeport from November 10 to 14.
He said policemen who violate the policy will be subjected to disciplinary action and face administrative charges.
“The road security and integrated patrol system must be refined and people must feel safe through effective police visibility and presence,” Corpus said.
Corpus observed that most policemen are seen tinkering with their mobile phones even while on duty.
“Karamihan ng police personnel na naka-deploy sa daan to provide road security ay text nang text, pindot ng pindot ng cell phone, naglalaro, o nakikipagchat. You can just imagine kung ano ang impression ng mga taong dumadaan. How will you feel safe kung ang pulis na dapat ay nagbabantay sa daan ay sa cell phone lang nakatingin?” he said.
(Most police personnel deployed on the road to provide road security are always texting, tinkering with their cell phone, playing, or chatting. You can just imagine the impression of passers-by. How will you feel safe if the police who should be watching the road is looking at a cell phone?)
A policeman occupied with a mobile phone game or text messaging would not be able to perform well, Corpus said.
“Lahat ng klase ng kriminal maaring dumaan sa harapan niya without him noticing them. Try to compare this with a policeman na nakatayo or walking his beat na nakatingin sa mga tao at mga sasakyang dumadaan. I’m sure na matatakot ang mga kriminal at mga driver ng mga sasakyan na walang plaka na dumaan sa harap niya. The people will feel safer kung ganitong pulis ang nakikita nila sa daan,” he explained.
(All sorts of criminals can just pass by without him noticing them. Try to compare this with a policeman who is walking his beat, looking at people and passing vehicles. I'm sure criminals and drivers of vehicles without plates would fear walking in front of him. The people will feel safer if they see this kind of police in the streets.)
But what if there's an emergency situation or if the policeman has to call in a report?
Corpus said even so, onlookers would still have a different impression if they see policemen busy on their phones while on duty. If they really have to use their mobile phone, they should do so discreetly.
"I’m sure you (police officers) are old enough to know how to do it right. Madali namang gawan ito ng paraan. Ang importante hindi nakikita ng mga tao (It's easy to find a way. What's important is that the people won't see you). There are many ways to do it,” he said.
Corpus said it's important for people to feel safe by seeing alert and vigilant policemen in the streets.
“What safety would people feel if the policeman standing on the road is just texting?” he asked. – Rappler.com