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Over 350 Metro policewomen undergoing desk sergeant’s training — Okubo

March 26, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 275 views

OkuboOVER 350 policewomen from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) are currently undergoing refresher training prior to their deployment as new desk sergeants in different Metro Manila police stations and police-community precincts, NCRPO director, Major General Edgar Alan O. Okubo told the Journal Group on Sunday.

The member of Philippine National Police (PNP) ‘Tagapagpatupad’ Class of 1992 who made history after becoming the 1st PNPA graduate to head the elite PNP Special Action Force and now the NCRPO, said he wants to further enhance the image and credibility of the metropolitan police force by assigning policewomen as desk sergeants knowing the ordinary man’s feeling of comfort and ease when talking with a female officer.

Last week, the official led the start of a two-day Customer Relation Officer’s seminar for the policewomen who will be deployed as part of Maj. Gen. Okubo’s program to further improve the Philippine National Police Quality Service Lanes for the public in the metropolis.

The seminar aimed to equip the NCRPO female non-commissioned police officers with the correct attitude, skills and values as well as deeper knowledge on customer relations as they embark on their new field of work, said Colonel Julius Guadamor, chief of the NCRPO Regional Training and Education Division.

NCRPO Regional Community Affairs and Development Division, Col. Romy Palgue likewise said the policewomen will have to really understand the proper way of communication and interacting with the public as required of a typical Customer Relations’ Officer in the country.

“They have to have the knowledge and skills to deal with people who will go to police stations to file a complaint or request police assistance as they will be the new face of police desk sergeants in the NCRPO,” the official added.

In attendance during the NCRPO seminar last week were the following number of policewomen: three from the Regional Health Service Unit, 15 each from the Northern and Eastern Police Districts, 45 from the Manila Police District, 24 from the Southern Police District and 51 from the Quezon City Police District.

There were also a total of 295 online participants.

Maj. Gen. Okubo’s plan has received positive feedbacks from different sectors of the society. Senator Grace Poe welcomed the plan to create a dedicated space for women as front desk officers saying it could be a potential solution to the underreporting and under-recording especially of gender-based violence since women are known to be more compassionate and more approachable, yet tough and determined.

“We know women to be more compassionate and more approachable, yet tough and determined. This should not stop the NCRPO, however, from continuously exerting efforts to make the male members of the police force more gender-sensitive,” Sen. Poe said.

The lawmaker however said having female cops as front desk officers is good but at the end of the day, good cops “will bolster the faith of people in the justice system and close the gap between communities and the police.”

Maj. Gen. Okubo admitted that the change in assignments was an offshoot of the negative feedbacks received by the NCRPO on male front desk officers as reported to him by the NCRPO Regional Intelligence Division.

He said the men who will be relieved from their duties as front desk officers will reinforce police visibility especially at night.

The official said his plan will initially apply only in 45 NCRPO stations: 16 in QCPD, 14 in MPD, 7 in SPD and 4 each in NPD and EPD.

Upon their deployment, the policewomen will act as police customer service representatives in Metro Manila police stations tasked to deal with people from all walks of life and refer their problems to concerned units whose actions will be fully monitored by the NCRPO leadership.

Maj. Gen. Okubo said he wants the customer relations service-trained policewomen to act as their go-to-guys in police stations for a change.

He added he came up with the idea after fielding a number of undercover agents or ‘mystery clients’ in different NCRPO stations shortly after he assumed the top Metro Manila police post vice Maj. Gen. Jonnel C. Estomo, now the PNP Deputy Chief for Operations.

The official said the so-called ‘mystery clients’ secretly filmed male desk sergeants in the stations they visited and many of their actions were disappointing.

One secret video showed a policeman smoking vape in public; another watching television unmindful of the presence of the ‘mystery client’ while another seemed not interested in the complaint of the undercover agent and after a lengthy talk merely referred her to the barangay.

Maj. Gen. Okubo said that by replacing male desk sergeants with customer service-training policewomen, they will be trying to replace the atmosphere in police stations.

“What I want here is to have a presence of policewomen who are always ready to help anybody seeking police assistance, acting as if they are mothers, sisters to the citizens,” he said.

Once they have talked to a particular complainant, the policewoman would refer him/her to the concerned police unit, say the theft and robbery section, the anti-carnapping unit or the anti-fraud division which should address their complaints immediately, the official said.

Maj. Gen. Okubo believes that a police officer-a policewoman in particular who has been trained in customer service would be crucial in their effort to further win back the trust and confidence of the people.

“Good police customer service and reactive interactions are crucial to create a good public experience as desk sergeants in police stations are usually the first point of contact for our customers which is the public,” he explained.