CLARK FREEPORT — With a ratio of one policeman for every 800 to 900 population, Central Luzon remains short of policemen to ensure local folk of peace and order, the regional office of the National Police Commission (Napolcom) said here.
This, even as Napolcom regional director Rolando Santos also said that with the image of the police remaining tarnished over the years, his agency is considering more focus on improving its community relations by shifting on-the-job-trainings (OJT) from police work to community service.
In the “Talk Widus” forum with the Pampanga Press Club here, Santos said that instead of making on-the-job-trainees undertake main police work, Napolcom is seriously studying whether they should instead do community service to promote closer ties between the police and the civilian population.
This, he said, is a move to regain the trust of civilians in the police force, amid news reports of police involvement in various crimes in the country.
Santos also lamented that the police-population ratio in Central Luzon has remained inadequate.
“Ideally, the ration should be one cop per 500 people, but our present ratio is one cop per 800 to 900 people,” he said.
He disclosed, however, that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is working to reach an ideal ratio of one police officer for every 500 individuals by 2020 as well as fill in vacancies for five battalions of the elite PNP Special Action Force (SAF) as envisioned by Pres. Duterte.
Santos noted that the PNP has an attrition rate of about 5,000 personnel a year which consists of those who retire and those who are removed from service.
Aside from trying to replenish the number, there is also an additional quota requirement of 10,000 personnel, he noted.
The need to recruit 15,000 men would help the PNP achieve the ideal one is to 500 ratio, he also said.
At the same time, Santos said Napolcom under him is hearing 78 various cases against cops accused of various offenses, such as conduct unbecoming of a police officer to serious crimes such as alleged involvement in illegal drugs. Their ranks range from PO1 to superintendent, he added.
This, even as Santos, who assumed the regional post only recently, vowed to review at least one case against a cop which have dragged on for years without resolution. The case involved a notorious cop based in Pampanga’s second district.
Examining records of the case, Santos said it seemed the case “has slept” in his office amid reports that the cop involved was known as “untouchable.”