Police are everyday heroes

HEROISM definitely happens every day much like the thousands of members of the Philippine National Police who place themselves in harm’s way for the safety of our nation and in the name of justice.

Guided by the “to protect and serve” credo, the officers are expected to respond to all situations that may arise while on duty. While the major role of the police is to maintain peace and order through law enforcement and societal norms, they also assume other functions during emergency situations and actively participate in community service.

Like everybody else, members of the police service can also be trustworthy friends in the community.

In recognition of their commitment to justice, PSBank, Metrobank Foundation and the Rotary Club of New Manila East came up with the Country's Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS).

This annual nationwide search honors four commissioned officers and six non-commissioned officers who have demonstrated integrity, courage and professionalism on duty. The program seeks to highlight the cooperative efforts between the police and the community in safeguarding peace and order. Since 2003, COPS has recognized over 40 policemen and women and supports the “ONE PNP” program of the Philippine National Police, with emphasis on the Neighborhood Participation Thrust.

In 2007, Police Superintendent Wilson Joseph Lopez, chief of the Laoag City Police Station in Ilocos Norte was among those honored for his commitment to justice and public service.

P/Supt. Lopez, believed that working with the community is the only way to properly exercise their responsibilities as public servants and achieve their objectives of securing and preserving peace and order. His remarkable service record feature a long list of awards and commendations over the last 16 years, including national awards for two different police stations that were under his command, and two citations as Junior Police Commissioned Officer for Region 1.

His innovative programs include initiatives in training public safety officers as force multipliers, setting up a Crime Monitoring Center through text messaging, and the activation of the Junior Police program. “I have always put God first every time I do my duty. I encourage my co-policemen to always strive to be a good role model even if we are off-duty. Just because we don’t wear the uniform and badge, our work is done. It is a full-time commitment,” he said.

 “The awardees are the police force's cream of the crop. They have been chosen after a stringent selection process that includes documentation of achievements, background check, and panel interview with a distinguished board of judges representing various sectors of society. They are known for their dependability to fulfill their sworn duties and can always be counted on with utmost commitment and dedication," PSBank president Pascual Garcia III said.

This year, PSBank, the Philippines’ second largest savings bank, together with the Metrobank Foundation and the Rotary Club of New Manila East will search once more for the 2008 COPS.

“It is only proper that we give recognition to these dedicated policemen who allow us to live more peacefully and give us greater confidence to lead and serve others,” Garcia said.#