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Eleazar: PNP body cams night-vision, weather-proof

June 7, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 184 views

EleazarAPART from being weatherproof, their new ‘eyes and ears’ or the Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) procured by the Philippine National Police (PNP) have night vision capability with the object detection range of up to 10 meters in the dark, saidPNP chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar.

The top cop added that the BWCs specifically have an auto-night mode that has the ability to distinguish an object from the ground.

“May mga operation na isinasagawa sa gabi and this was anticipated during the review of what type of body cameras would be procured by the PNP. Kaya nga yung bilin ng mga nakaraang liderato ng PNP ay kung bibili ay yung the best na at magagamit araw man o gabi o kahit masama pa ang pahanon,” Gen. Eleazar said.

“Yung mga police operations naman kasi ay walang pinipiling oras yan at lugar. Basta natunugan ng ating mga operatiba ay sugod kaagad. But this time para dun sa mga mabibigyan, they must ensure na nakakabit ang body cameras at naka-on,” he added.

According to the PNP chief, the BWCs are water-proof and could record audio and video for at least eight hours of continuous operation.

He said that once the video-recording is turned on, the police-in-charge will immediately inform the desk officer on duty in the police station or police unit. All the data that would be recorded are directly sent to the PNP Command Center for management and monitoring.

The PNP chief said the BWCs will only be turned off once the operation is concluded. During arrest, recording will stop upon turnover of the suspect to the detention facility.”

The PNP bought a total of 2,696 BWCs through a Congressional allocation. These were distributed to 170 police stations composed of 20 Police Offices in large cities of the country, 108 City Police Stations, the five Police Districts of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) namely the Quezon City, Manila, Eastern, Northern and Southern Police Districts, and the 15 City and Municipal Stations in Metro Manila which include 23 Numbered Police Stations.

“So ang binili natin dito ay hindi lang yung 2,696 units ng body cameras but the entire system ng recording and real-time transmittal of the audio-video recording,” Gen. Eleazar said.

Eleazar addee that the PNP needs at least 30,000 more BWCs to cover all the police stations and units in various parts of the country.

He said there is already a plan to buy more in coming years which would be distributed not only to the remaining city and municipal police stations but also units of the Mobile Force Battalions and the National Operating Support Units like the Special Action Force, Maritime Group, Aviation Security Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Anti-Kidnapping Group and Highway Patrol Group.

“Napakalaki pang budget ang kailangan dito pero tayo ay umaasa na makakakuha tayo ng suporta sa Kongreso sa mga darating na taon upang mawala na talaga ang pagdududa sa lahat ng operasyon na gagawin ng ating kapulisan,” he said.

On Friday last week, Gen. Eleazar unveiled the use of BWCs by the police who are on official mission to serve warrants of arrest or search warrants, during hostage-negotiation and the conduct of security coverage in major events like the forthcoming State-of-the-Nation-Address by President Duterte.

Three years after its use was first announced, Gen. Eleazar said that police will finally be utilizing body-worn cameras or their ‘eyes and ears’ in the real sense of word to ensure the transparency and legitimacy of police operations, including the service of search and arrest warrants.

Gen. Eleazar also made good on his word to have BWCs used during his term as the 26th head of the 220,000-strong police organization.

“Dati ang sinasabi lang natin, baka sakali. Ngayon, tuloy na tuloy na matapos maglabas ang ating Supreme Court ng mga panuntunan sa pagsumite bilang court evidence ng mga video na kuha ng ating mga body cameras,” he said.

The top cop thanked the past PNP Chiefs starting from now Senator Ronald dela Rosa who initiated the review for the procurement of the best body cameras up to retired Gen. Debold Sinas who signed the final contract papers.

He also thanked the Supreme Court for continuously assisting the PNP in coming up with the guidelines for the presentation of the BWC data as court evidence.

“The procurement and eventually the use of Body Camera Worn System is a tribute not only to Kian delos Santos who died of police abuse in Caloocan City but also to the policemen whose ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty were tainted by claims of extra-judicial killings, planting of evidence and other unfair allegations,” he said.

“Ang mahalaga dito ay masisiguro ng mga BWCs na walang paglabag sa Police Operating Procedures o sa karapatang pantao na magaganap bilang proteksyon ng ating mga kababayan. Magsisilbing proteksyon na din ito ng ating mga kapulisan laban sa mga malisyoso at maling paratang,” he added.

The initial agreement is that the use of the BWCs will only start after all the personnel assigned to them are trained. But since a total of 623 policemen were already trained to use the body-worn cameras, Gen. Eleazar said that he already gave the go-signal for its use starting Friday, June 4.

The PNP chief assured that the BWCs are tamper-proof and cannot be manually turned off by policemen wearing them.

“The cameras capture real-time events and these are recorded in our central database. More importantly, footage taken through the BWCs cannot be erased easily as they are only accessible at the PNP Command Center,” he said.

According to the PNP Chief, the BWC System, in support of the S.M.A.R.T. (Secured, Mobile, Artificial-Intelligence driven, Real time Technology) Policing initiative of the PNP, will allow the PNP Command Center to monitor the actual police operations of all units nationwide.

“The BWC will not only satisfy the requirement of transparency in police operations but, more importantly, capture real-life actions for their evidentiary value in investigation and prosecution,” he said.

Under the “Revised Operational Guidelines and Policies on the Use of Body Worn Camera” PNP personnel would use BWCs in: Anti-Illegal drug operations, except where police operatives act as poseur buyers and perform test-buys; Service of Search Warrant and Warrant of Arrest; Hostage Rescue Operations; High Risk Check/Chokepoint Operations; Security operations during the implementation of decision/orders of the court, and quasi-judicial or administrative bodies; and Security coverage during major events (such as ASEAN, SEA Games, SONA, National and Local Elections, Festivals, etcetera).

“Ang ating gobyerno ay naglaan ng malaking pondo para sa BWC System bilang tugon sa panawagan at suhestyon ng nakararami nating kababayan. Ang BWCs ang magbibigay ng kasiguruhan sa kanila na ang ating kampanya kontra kriminalidad ay naaayon sa batas at walang paglabag sa karapatang pantao,” Gen. Eleazar said.

“Sa ating mga kababayan, may proteksyon na kayo sa pang-aabuso at kalokohan ng iilan naming tiwaling kasamahan. At sa mas maraming bilang ng mga matitinong pulis, may proteksyon na tayo laban sa mga pagdududa at maling akala,” he added.