Saturday, January 21, 2017

Calasiao security blanket a model for other fiestas

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

CALASIAO – The successful security preparation spread out by the police for the mammoth four days festival here could be a model for other towns or cities that wanted to emulate it.
COPS. Policemen of Calasiao, Pangasinan pose with the town Mayor Joseph Arman Bauzon
 (4th from left, front row) and their chief of police Superintendent Charles Umayam (5th from
left, front law). The Calasiao Police Station has 80 policemen lead by Umayam and his two deputy
 chiefs of police and four Non-Uniformed Personnel (NUP). It has a Police to Population Ration 
of 1:1,380.  

Police Superintendent Charles Umayam cited that the security challenged brought by the Calasiao Puto Festival in December 8-11 last year was daunting than those brought by the fiesta celebration of the 86 villages' San Carlos City.
Although his present post is a town, the chief of police explained that the thousands of people that attended the fiesta here could eclipse those that attended the fiesta in a big city like San Carlos.
Umayam cited the influx of a huge crowd for the fiesta was due to urbanization of this burgeoning town and her proximity with Dagupan City.
Mas marami dito kasi ginamit natin dito tatlong areas, plaza at doon sa extended,” he stressed.

When Umayam was the chief of police of San Carlos City he utilized an airport liked metal detector to those who entered the public gymnasium, snipers loaned from the provincial police office (PPO) based in Lingayen, Pangasinan, and other multi-plier forces that helped buttress his personnel.
The tight security plan in San Carlos was due to the death of the then  mayor there Julian Resuelo who was assasinated in the same gymnasium.
 “Nagkaroon din ng incident dito sa Calasiao na dito sa harap ng putuhan 2013 ata,” he said by referring to the fire fight between the groups of the Mesinas and Calaunans that resulted to the death one members of the Mesina group and wounded several of them that included the present Vice Mayor Mahadeva DasMesina.
How he transformed the festival to zero crime despite the ten thousand people in one occasion for instance that attended it.
One of the factors that the four days function became a success was due to the additional police forces he borrowed from different units and the auxiliary forces like the Public Order & Safety Office from this town to maintain the peace and order.
He said he was able to accumulate one team from SWAT PPO in Lingayen, personnel from PPSC from Camp Narciso Ramos in Tayug, Pangasinan, four personnel from Bayambang and San Carlos City Police Stations, and 20 from the Philippine Army 702nd Infantry Brigade at the Camp Lieutenant Tito B. Abat to the celebration graced by actors and actresses from Manila.
“I have almost 100 policemen and those 34 personnel from other units,” he explained.
Umayam did not use the service of the  snipers in the four days fiesta here just like what he did in San Carlos City because the events here were not stationary unlike in the former where the occasion was held in a static and closed area that were surrounded by higher buildings .
“Successful kasi walang incident. No significant incident na nangyari except sagi-an ng sasakyan dahil sa dami ng bisita dito. Sa pakipagtulungan ng POSO dito sila katulungan namin diyan sa parking area kasi dito sa circle sa town proper di po kasi kami nagpapasok ng sasakyan”.
Umayam recommended that to pre-empt criminal elements from exploiting the success of a certain festival and eliminate dangerous groups like terrorist, criminals, gangs, and unscrupulous individuals, stakeholders should have fund support to the security personnel, consultation and dialogue with the community, use of social media like the re-routing  traffic scheme and others.

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