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Pulis Kababayan ni Constable Rey OlazoPersonal safety – part two

By Constable Rey Olazo

Ngayon na umiinit ang panahon ay marami ang nagiging mabigat ang paa sa silinyador at kung minsan sa pagmamadali ay nakakalimutan ang mga alituntuning sa pagmamaneho. I would like to caution also our kababayan specially those who are risk takers in drinking and driving that the Winnipeg Police Service is doing random and strategic road watch projects all over the city geared toward impaired driving. Ang paalala na ito ay nais kong bigyan ng diin sa mga baguhang driver, lalo na yung mga nasa intermediate stage wherein a zero blood alcohol content requirement is attached to their license, not to push their luck because it might cost your license for a period of time. If you have an accident while intoxicated, you might lose it forever.

In our last article, I made an overview on how to be secure and safe in our day to day living. I also presented six cardinal rules on personal safety. Noong bago pa lang tayong naninirahan dito sa Canada, particularly here in Winnipeg, ay maraming tayong tanong tungkol sa seguridad dahil sa agam-agam na madamay ang ating mga mahal sa buhay sa mga negatibong balita tungkol sa ating lungsod. Those who have relatives here are fortunate because they have assistance and coaching in their settlement. But for those who have no one, they are forced to learn and adjust to their new environment through trials and learning from errors they made.

Sa aking pakikisalamuha ko sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na sa mga bagong dating, the frequent question that pops up is, “How can we be safe.” Aking sagot ay, it depends on how you avoid being in an unsafe situation. There is no such thing as a perfectly secure environment. Security is dependent on how an individual will stay away from a compromising situation – of being in the “wrong place and wrong time.” Security starts with awareness of our surroundings – knowing the crime situation in the community where we reside and on the route of our daily travel.

Ano nga ba ang mga palatandaan na kailangan tayong mag-ingat at maging alisto? There are lots of signs but the biggest red flag is the presence of gangs or criminal groups in our community. Paano natin malalaman iyon?

These are some of the signs:

  • Increase in crimes such as street and commercial robberies, assaults, vandalism, graffiti, and stolen autos
  • Increase in drug trafficking and drug use
  • Senseless crimes of violence
  • Youths commonly seen hanging out in groups, particularly at night
  • Gang colors and dress worn on the streets and in schools
  • Rumours of gang activity.

Ang mga nabangit na bagay ay mga babala lamang at hindi para maging paranoid tayo. Mas makakabuti na alam natin ang mga pangyayari sa ating kapaligiran kasi our alertness and security level will always be in an active mode. If we want to know the crime situation in a particular part of the city, it is better to visit Crime Stoppers and Neighborhood Crime Watch through our website www.winnipeg.ca/police.

Sa atin namang paglalakbay from our residence to our work place and vice versa we should be observant and familiar with our route. Marami sa atin na kapag lumabas na ng bahay ay walang pakialam sa mga nangyayari sa paligid dahil sa sarap ng pakikinig sa music o dili kaya ay sa pakikipagtext habang naglalakad. It is better to plug just one ear to listen to the music while the other is free and capable of listening to the sounds within our immediate environment. For those who are walking and texting, it is best to wait until you arrive at your destination – at least you are no longer mobile and within the confines of a bus shack or your office or school building. If possible, mas mainam na tayo ay maglalakad na mayroong kasama, lalo na sa gabi, kasi ang mga masamang elemento ay magiging andap. Sa ating paglalakad sa kalye it is better in the middle of the sidewalk o kung walang sidewalk ay sa gilid ng kalye na paharap sa mga paparating na sasakyan nang sa ganoon ay makikita natin ang vehicular traffic. Kung atin namang mapapansin na mayroon sumusunod sa atin, mas makakabuti naibahin natin ang ating travel route or enter a store or coffee shop among other people.

When we travel alone or with a companion, it is best to avoid using shortcuts on secluded and unfamiliar routes. Here in Winnipeg there are many of back and side streets that connect one major street to another. There is nothing wrong in using these if we know where they lead and there is pedestrian traffic present. Ang Pinoy ay mga posturyosong tao. Mahilig tayong magsuot ng mga makikinang na bagay na maganda sa paningin ngunit nakakattract din sa mata ng mga bad guys. If we are commuting and walking, avoid publicly displaying them by either putting them under our shirt or blouse or take them off and secure them in our purse or pocket and wear them as we arrive at our destination. Always trust our instincts. Sabi nga sa movie na Spiderman, if your spider sense starts to tingle, be on guard and be cautious of the people and activities around you. It is best for us to use our sound judgment based on common sense. Kapag hindi tama ay tiyak na mali. Common sense is the kind of sense that should be common but it is not.

Paano mga kababayan, hangang sa muli, let us enjoy the warm summer days because the clock is ticking so fast that before we know it, winter is coming around again. Brrrr! Pagpalain nawa tayo ng Diyos.

Constable Rey Olazo is a member of the Central Traffic Unit of the Winnipeg Police Service. He can be contacted by e-mail at rolazo@winnipeg.ca. For urgent matters that require Police response please call 911 and for non-emergency you may call (204) 986-6222.