Police escort duty no longer allowed

Published by rudy Date posted on January 10, 2009

Camp Crame hierarchy yesterday ordered a stop to the practice of using police vehicles to escort politicians, especially local government officials such as mayors and governors.

National Police Chief Jesus Verzosa said as a policy, acquired units should not be diverted to back-up security functions.

The police force, which has over 9,000 vehicles, recently received 664 units for patrol and Scene of the Crime operation.

“We do not allow these vehicles to be used for personal purposes. They’re prohibited to be used other than official police functions,” Verzosa said.

Ignoring PNP markings, sirens and blinkers, many local officials, particularly in far-flung towns and provinces use them for personal purposes.

Headquarters sources said some even use government-issued ambulances for such chores as ferrying children to and from school.

Verzosa said allowing local chief executives to use National Police-issued vehicles would negate the mobility to respond to crime and other emergency situations.

Asked if the policy covered those vehicles donated by localities such as Manila and Makati, Verzosa answered in the affirmative, noting that the police take control and supervison after the turnover.

“If they need escorts because of certain serious security concerns, then they should apply for it. And it can be done in very limited period.”

Verzosa said he would also direct the setting up of motor pools to make sure that police vehicles are kept in A-1 condition and that the assigned drivers are made accountable for roadworthiness.

The new fleet includes 271 Toyota Hi-lux pick-ups converted to personnel carriers, 215 Toyota Innova multi-purpose vehicles, 150 200cc Honda motorcycles and 28 Toyota Hi-Ace commuter vans customized for mobile crime laboratory work.–Romie A. Evangelista, Manila Standard Today

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