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Pulis Kababayan ni Constable Rey OlazoPersonal safety – part one

By Constable Rey Olazo

Kumusta mga kababayan. Mukhang tuloy na ang summer kahit paminsan-minsan ay nakakaramdam pa rin tayo ng malalamig na umaga at pasumpong-sumpong na pag-ulan.

I wrote my recent four-part series about the Highway Traffic Act not knowing that I would be moved to the Central Traffic Unit (CTU) in the Police Service spring assignment transfer. In my more than a month stint in CTU, I am proud to say that our kababayan’s involvement in traffic related violations – as far as I am aware – are minimal.

Summer time is a great opportunity for our kababayans to visit places within the country or across our southern border. Vacation time is a much-anticipated activity of the year; it is a family bonding event where memorable stories are made. But let us not also forget that the bad guys see summer vacation time as an opportunity to do their nefarious activities. It is based on my street experience that when warm weather prevails, lots of things happen in our city. For the this reason, I decided to write about how to be safe in our person, travel and home.

I know for a fact that when we immigrated to Canada we had two priorities. The first priority was to find a good paying job to provide our family with food on the table, a roof over our heads and money to finance the socio-educational needs of our children.

This four-part series of Pulis Kababayan articles will focus on our safety at home. Mahirap magtrabaho kung aandap-andap tayo at palaging nag-aalala sa ating kaligtasan at ng ating pamilya. As we live our lives here in Manitoba, particularly in Winnipeg, malimit nating mapanood sa TV o mabasa sa mga pahayagan ang mga balita tungkol sa mga krimen na nagaganap na nagbibigay sa atin ng agam-agam kung tama ba ang ating desisyon na tumira dito. Kung ako ang inyong tatanungin, walang kurap kong sasabihin sa inyo na tama ang inyong naging desisyon dahil kung ikukumpara natin ang peace and order sa ibang bansa ay higit na maganda ang sitwasyon ng kaayusan dito sa Canada particularly in Winnipeg.

Ano nga ba ang tunay na sitwasyon ng peace and order dito sa Winnipeg? Lalo bang lumalala ang krimen o pinalala lamang ng mga kuro-kuro na mali at ginagawa upang mayroong pag-usapan. When I was in the Community Relations Unit and whenever I gave lectures for newcomers through Manitoba Start or Entry Program, malimit na itanong sa akin ng mga bagong dating kung totoo bang dalikadong mamuhay sa Winnipeg. Ang aking isinasagot ay katulad ng nauna kong pahayag na under control ang crime situation dito sa Winnipeg at bilang patunay based on the crime statistics noong nakaraang taon (2013), ang WPS ay matagumpay na napapababa by 14 per cent ang kriminalidad sa lungsod kumpara noong taong 2012. It is a factual attestation that the Police Service is doing its best to find solutions through different strategic and community based approaches in order to further quell criminal incidents within the city.

Another question I heard was, “will the statistics hold and can the citizenry be at peace, based on this data?” For me, being safe does not rely solely on how effective and adequate the policing strategy is but it is also partly reflective and attributable to the citizens in preventing themselves from being part of the statistics.

Paano nga ba tayo magiging ligtas sa ating pang-araw-araw na buhay? Your Pulis Kababayan considers six cardinal rules on personal safety:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Know the crime situation in your area
  • Know the situation on your usual travel route
  • Always use common sense and trust your instincts
  • Don’t be too relaxed and complacent; it makes you an easy target of criminals
  • Have a “What if” plan

These rules of course are not fool proof and will not be a 100 per cent assurance for safety because ultimately, it is dependent on how each person applies it. Mayroong iba na magiging over active at magiging de numero na magdudulot ng safety paranoia that will lead to inconvenience, while others will apply these rules smoothly until their safety awareness will react naturally based on the situation. Sabi nga ng mga IPSC Practical Shooters, “Muscle Memory,” daw ang tawag doon.

In the next three segments, I will explain and provide examples of each rule para lalo tayong magkaroon ng mas malinaw na pananaw sa salitang “safety.”

Paano, hanggang sa muli, mga kababayan. 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.