Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Spectacular Directives

How some spectacularly insane directives betray the lack of actual street patrol experience of who ever made them.

In my second to the last post, I recommended that The Chief use street patrol experience in appointing PCOs in command positions.  For this article, I will cite the importance of such experience for people at the policy-making level by citing past command directives that were so out of touch with ground reality.  I will just cite three recurring pet peeves of mine:

1.         The directive specifying the utilization of augmentation personnel to patrol duties

During election time and other long holidays like Undas and SUMVAC, the NHQ usually utilize personnel on schooling as “augmentation force” to local units.  In one election, this was again done.  My station got 40 augmentation personnel and I am
grateful for it because my organic personnel were not enough to guard all the PCOs machines scattered all over the city.  But lo and behold, with the arrival of the augmentation personnel came the directive:  THE AUGMENTATION PERSONNEL SHALL BE USED EXCLUSIVELY FOR PATROL AND ANTI-CRIMINALITY DUTIES ONLY.  IT IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED TO UTILIZE THEM TO MAN THE POLLING PRECINTS AND GUARD THE PCOS MACHINES.

Wow wow wow I said.  Whoever made this directive had not performed a minute of beat patrol all his life!  Because if he knows patrolling, then he should have known that it needs time for a patroller to familiarize himself with his area of operation.  The augmentation personnel arrived at the station two days before election day and they are expected to patrol the streets while the organic personnel are the ones guarding the PCOS?  Here are sample scenarios:

Scenario 1: (Ishort cut ko na lang ang mga radio communications ha)

PCOS guard:  Control! Alarm 10-10 at JP Rizal High School.  Kindly send additional personnel

Control:  Copy.  Standy by.  PC 123 kindly proceed to JP Rizal High School.  Provide assistance to PCOS guard.

PC 123 (manned by augmentation personnel):  Saan yun?

Yari!


Scenario 2:

PC 123 (manned by augmentation personnel):  Control! Code 0! Code 0!  Alarm 166!  Alarm 166!

Control:  PC 123! 20?

PC 123:  Ah dito sa kwan, sa Barangay Patangatanga kaso hindi na namin alam saan eksakto ito.  Basta marami kaming mangga na nakikita!

Yari uli!

I made a position paper regarding that matter and I did not follow that directive.  Fortunately, I was not questioned.  Well, in the aftermath, my city had one of the most peaceful elections in years according to the local government.


2.         The directive prohibiting the deployment of augmentation RPSB and PPSC personnel into teams of 2s for patrol operations

From time to time, RPSB and PPSC personnel are augmented to local police stations.  They are usually in teams of 8 led by a junior PCO (PINSP to PSINSP).  This deployment is supposedly a welcome development to CPS and MPS if not for the usual accompanying directive not to break them up into smaller teams like pairs.  As such, most of the time, their job is limited to just manning the checkpoints.  My very simple question is this:  Why can these units not be broken up into pairs?  Why is it mandatory to deploy them in teams of 8?  Why, was there a report of a band of snatchers composed of so many malefactors that it is mandatory to deploy a team of 8 to neutralize them?

This directive clearly betrays the lack of street smarts and patrol experience of that policy maker.


3.         The directive to maintain a “command reserve” of 10% to 20% of MTRS radios in the COMMEL stockroom for use during emergencies.

During the preparations for the APEC summit last year, the PNP procured 15,000 handheld Motorola radios.  These radios are in the MTRS.  During the distribution, I noticed that there is that item “command reserve” which means that a certain number of radios is retained at the COMMEL stock room for emergency deployment.  Well this is ok if it is just a few units but with 150 units in a PRO HQ, this is very significant.  Moreover, the other radios were dispatched just a few days before the actual event.  So ano nangyari?  Nag kabuhol buhol ang radio traffic, severely compromising the effectiveness of the state of the art MTRS.

This incident betray the lack of street smarts of that policy maker most probably brought about by the lack of actual patrol experience because had he experienced actual patrol where he actually used the radio on a routine basis, he must have realized the following:

a.     Radio is not like a cellphone that almost everybody knows how to use because everybody has one.  While the MTRS is quite a simple equipment, there is still a need for the user to familiarize himself with it, especially on etiquette and protocols.  Likewise, there is also that radio language revolving around the 10 codes.  With this realization, the policy maker should have known that the radios should have been distributed to the end users as soon as they became available so that they could familiarize with them before the actual event, making the equipment more useful to the users.

b.     The above reasons also support the contention that keeping brand new radios as “command reserve” is a decision that has no wisdom at all.  In case of emergency like a rescue operation, who will you deploy?  The radio alone?  Will the radio evacuate people from danger areas?  Heck, you will still be deploying people to do the actual work and if that actual rescue operation is the first time that these people will get hold of their radios, then you can almost rest assured that what you will be issuing will just be paper weights to them.  Baka ni hindi pa naka charge yan pag labas ng stockroom!

There are many other directives that are unrealistic and out of touch that I have encountered in my career and many of these are brought about by the fact that the knowledge of many of our policy makers are based on kwento and not actual experience…


As they say, puro wento, wala wenta...

1 comment:

  1. I certainly agree to some points that you have discussed on this post. I appreciate that you have shared some reliable tips on this review.

    ReplyDelete

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