To improve image, EPD turns to its female cops
By putting more “smiling” policewomen instead of serious-looking male officers at the front desk, the Eastern Police District (EPD) believes it can do its part in improving the image of the force, which has taken beating in recent public opinion polls on the war on drugs.
Chief Supt. Romulo Sapitula, EPD director, ordered the assignment of 52 policewomen in various police community precincts (PCPs) and stations in the four cities covered by the district: Marikina, Pasig, Mandaluyong and San Juan.
Female law enforcers ranked Police Officer 2 to PO3 will man the desks in PCPs, while those ranked Senior Police Officer 1 up will be assigned in the stations. There will be a feedback mechanism to check their performance.
‘Soft-spoken but tough’
Sapitula said he expected these PCPs and stations to have a “neater, calmer and more approachable” feel with “soft-spoken but tough women” receiving complainants or visitors.
“I want to change the atmosphere in police stations. The traditional setup has men at police desks, but we want gender equality, equal opportunity for men and women,” Sapitula said in a recent interview.
The policewomen, however, will go on desk duty only during daytime — the men take over at night — since some of them may be mothers who need to be home for their children, the EPD chief said.
Personality dev’t course
The first batch of policewomen up for front desk assignment has completed “a personality development” course which was conducted for free for the EPD by Mhel Garcia, a professor from Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
Sapitula recalled that he also enrolled his men in personality development programs during his earlier stint as commander of the Manila Police District’s (MPD) Ermita station, where the complainants often included foreign tourists.
He said he followed the advice he got from the Department of Tourism.
It was also during his days as chief of the MPD mobile patrol unit that he included women in the roving teams.
“Personality training is not part of the police school curricula,” Sapitula said. “But it is very important that policemen have a good personality. Police brutality and violence and reports about police scalawags can be prevented through this.”
“We will not contribute to the prevailing bad image of the Philippine National Police. We are affected because we belong to one organization.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.