Angeles City is set to launch a 40-strong Tourism Police Unit.
The city’s police department has joined forces with the Department of Tourism in launching the first tourism police unit in Central Luzon.
Said to be part of a government project – the new force will be known as “Tourist-Oriented Police for Community Order and Protection.” (TOPCOP)
Republic Act #9593, or the Tourism Act of 2009, stipulated the establishment of a tourism security force within the PNP ‘to assist in maintaining peace and order in areas with high tourism traffic.’
The TOPCOP programme provides continuing training for tourism police, including emergency response and lifesaving, crisis management, community-based guiding and foreign language skills.
“This is a project of DOT all over the country, particularly in places or towns and cities where tourism is quite significant. We conduct training on becoming tourist friendly, even responding to emergency situations. Once passed, police attendees are given certificates of completion with uniform (blue T-shirt) for easy identification,” Tiotuico noted to a local new agency.
He added that the tourist police were given special workshops and trainings to develop their cultural, interpersonal, and communication skills.
“Our seminars are coordinated with the PNP headquarters. The purpose is to ensure the safety and security of tourists, especially foreign,” he explained.
The project is noted to have increased police visibility in tourist areas, but will also enhance the investigations on crimes committed against tourists.
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