By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – The celebration of this year’s 25th National Crime Prevention week focuses on lifting the public’s awareness on crime prevention and public safety.
Atty. Joseph Celiz, regional director of National Police Commission (Napolcom) – 6, Bacolod City police director Colonel Henry Biñas, and Negros Occidental police director Romeo Baleros led the kick-off of the week-long celebration, through the launching of “Pito Tayo Laban sa Krimen” in rites held at the Negros Occidental Multi-Purpose Activity Center (Nompac) here yesterday.
Barangay officials, volunteers against crimes, youth, police chiefs, and members of the other law enforcement agencies from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) joined the whistle blowing to signal the start of the crime prevention week.
The annual celebration is pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 461, declaring the first week of September every year as the National Crime Prevention Week, from September 1 to 7.
Dubbed “Buhay Pahalagahan, Komunidad Magtulungan, Krimen Hadlangan,” Celiz said the activity focuses on crime prevention strategies and measures that promote community safety, contribute to sustainable development, and enhance the quality of life of all citizens. It is to foster interest and participation of the general public in preventing crime, maintaining peace and order and promoting public safety.
Celiz said that “every step of the way, community pillar is the most important pillar that we always consider because we gather information from the community, and the law enforcement is without any use if the community is not involved.”
He noted that in Bacolod and Negros Occidental is active in crime prevention measures as he highlighted the deployment of many policemen in streets, which increases police visibility to protect the public.
“We continue to focus on making the public aware of the Community and Service-Oriented Policing (CSOP) system as a crime prevention strategy,” he said.
It is about building collaborative partnership between the law enforcement agencies, local executives, and community in promoting peace and order, ensuring public safety and further strengthening the local government capability for the effective delivery of basic services to the citizenry, he added.
Celiz said the police officers should work towards gaining the community’s trust and cooperation by delivering quality services and performing their duties and responsibilities with the high degree of professionalism, discipline, integrity, and competence.
But, he stressed that police officers must not confined to his traditional role as law enforcer, they must also evolve into an active community partner.
“With our assistance, and the local government executives’ support, the police will be proactive and will employ a problem-solving approach in addressing crime and public safety concerns,” he said, adding that police will promote and protect human rights and basic freedoms in all community-policing related activities.
Meanwhile, Biñas read the message of Police Brigadier General Rene Pamuspusan, regional director of Police Regional Office (PRO) – 6, who was not able to grace the event yesterday.
Pamuspusan, in his message, stressed that crime prevention is a shared responsibility.
“Our involvement is necessary and indispensable to make the region and this country a safer place to live, work, and do business,” he said.
The regional director said that crime prevention is everybody’s business, as it does not rely on the competence and dedication of the police alone, but the community must also lift a finger to thwart crimes from happening, or to find solution, and serve justice to victims.
Pamuspusan noted that many crimes are solved today because of the cooperation of the community.
He said that the collaboration between the police and community could spell a big success in the fight against crimes.
For his part, Baleros said maintaining public peace and order is nearly impossible without the community’s support.
“It should start with a personal commitment to safeguard our own lives and protect the lives of others, to involve the community,” he added.
Also present in the activity were Regional Training School (RTS) director Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Laguyo, BFP-Negros Occidental director Senior Superintendent Pamela Candido, Superintendent Larry Fuentes of the BJMP, Bacolod Councilor Al Espino, chairman of the Committee on Police Matters, and Peace and Order of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP), Pontevedra Mayor Jose Benito Alonso, and Nove Mejica of the DILG.