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Police reforms

After the murder of a 52-year-old woman at the hands of a police officer, Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, said he is seriously considering implementing regular neuropsychiatric tests patterned after the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“We are contemplating mandatory neuropsychiatric tests every three years, just like in the AFP, because they have reenlistment,” he said in an interview.

Under the current set-up in the PNP, such tests are limited to the recruitment of police applicants, police officers applying for promotion and personnel who are on schooling. Eleazar is hoping regular tests can help identify those who might be emotionally or mentally imbalanced.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has also tasked the Philippine National Police to review protocols for off-duty police officers.

“My guidance is for the PNP leadership and chain of command to strictly supervise their men and instill discipline in the ranks. Review the SOP or protocols on police officer who are off-duty,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año told reporters.

He said the PNP should also expedite the resolution of pending cases against personnel as he noted that the National Police Commission is doing its job to ensure that scalawag police officers are taken off the roster by resolving pending administrative cases.

The spate of violent incidents involving police officers, especially the ones caught on video, has revealed an urgent need for reforms within the police system to prevent future incidents. Measures such as regular neuropsychiatric tests and the review of protocols will help but everything has to start with the PNP leadership that has to recognize a serious problem and commit to take concrete steps to address the declining confidence of the public in the commitment of the PNP to serve and to protect.*

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