Policemen ‘out’: Security guards now man Crame’s gates
MANILA, Philippines–Security guards “in,” policemen “out.”
Civilian security guards have started to replace policemen manning the gates and offices at Camp Crame in Quezon City, the official home of the Philippine National Police (PNP), over the weekend.
More than 70 male and female blue guards working in three eight-hour shifts were deployed in Crame, according to Chief Superintendent Alberto Supapo, PNP Headquarters Support Service (HSS) chief.
Last January, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima had said that the move was aimed to increase police visibility on the streets.
The hiring of security guards cost the PNP a P21-million contract with the security agency it has commissioned. Reports said that according to the documents from the Bids and Award Committee, Right Eight Security Agency Inc. was the lone bidder in the auction.
During the “transition period,” Supapo said on Monday that some PNP personnel will be left in the gates to assist the guards during their first weeks of duty.
“We also sent police reaction teams to assist the guards in case a commotion erupts,” he said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net.
Aside from the reaction team, a separate task group was also created by the HSS to monitor and supervise guards, who are armed with 9 millimeter and .45 caliber pistols.
Supapo said that to date, 52 out of 100 policemen stationed as guards have been downloaded to the streets and police units outside Crame.
Tighter security with civilian guards
Since the deployment of security guards, longer queues of cars and civilians entering the PNP camp were observed in all gates.
Supapo said this might be because policemen previously manning the entry points in Crame were “more familiar” with the usual people passing through the gates.
In previous months, some police guards would allow people to enter Crame without presenting an ID.
“This time, we are stricter with our implementations. The security guards are just following the guidelines,” he said.
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