Ham radio groups tapped as extra eyes, ears for PNP
MANILA, Philippines—Hobbled by the lack of manpower, the Philippine National Police is turning to “radiomen” to boost its anticrime campaign in Metro Manila.
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Wednesday tapped private radio communication groups as force multipliers for the PNP, even as he cited a slight drop in the number of reported crimes in the capital.
In a meeting with members of various radio groups and senior PNP officials at Camp Crame, Roxas ordered Director Carmelo Valmoria, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), to set up a protocol that would guide members of the radio groups in reporting crimes to the police.
“For a start, we can deploy your members to the 12 places in Metro Manila which are considered to be crime-prone areas,” Roxas told the officials of the radio groups. “You can be the additional eyes and ears of the police versus the criminals (in Metro Manila).”
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Philippine Amateur Radio Association, Regional Emergency Assistance Communications Team Philippines, Kabalikat Civicom and Volunteer Radio Communication Group Inc.
But Roxas cautioned them against acting as if they had been deputized as police officers, reminding them that their main role would be to coordinate and report crimes they have witnessed to the PNP.
Meanwhile, the interior department chief said the peace and order situation in the metropolis had slightly improved since he ordered the replacement of four out of the five police district directors in the capital two weeks ago.
According to Roxas, the average number of crimes reported in Metro Manila per week has gone down to 611 from the previous average of 682.
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