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Strict background check, neuro test for cops needed

  • Written by Alfred Dalizon
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 157

THE Philippine National Police leadership headed by Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa has
reiterated the need for a thorough background check and the conduct of neuro-psychiatric test and
evaluation of all police applicants to ensure that only the brightest and the fittest, both physically
and mentally, will become members of the force that will be issued guns and badges.

The PNP leadership reiterated the policy in the wake of the never-ending news on the involvement
of policemen with the rank of Police Officers 1 and Police Officers 2 to illegal activities as well as
grave abuses, the latest of them two PO1s arrested for robbery-extortion by agents of the PNP Counter-
Intelligence Task Force.
    
In the aftermath of the order, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director, Chief Superintendent
Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar ordered the conduct of mandatory stress debriefings and neuro-psychiatric
tests for all personnel starting with those assigned to the Drug Enforcement Units of the QCPD
headquarters and its 12 numbered police stations.
    
“There is a need for the QCPD to conduct stress debriefing and neuro-psychiatric tests for all
its rank and file but initially with those assigned with drug enforcement units. No doubt, the
government’s policy to combat drugs has increased not only the workload of frontline policemen but also
the pace by which they move, work and operate,” he said.
    
“There is more challenge and pressure now versus the recent past. Thus, we want to make sure
that our personnel are given the chance to cope with any stress that they may be experiencing. That’s
why we have stress debriefing. On the other hand, the neuro-psychiatric tests will help ensure that we
have well-poised and well- composed cops in the frontline,” Eleazar added.
    
The QCPD Health Service headed by Chief Inspector Josephine Nandu is conducting the stress
debriefing and neuro-psychiatric tests for the QCPD agents.  A total of 342 anti-narcotics agents of the
QCPD will undergo the test until next month.
    
Eleazar said those who will fail the neuro-test and background check will be relieved  and
reassigned to other units.
    
The QCPD director said the stress debriefing and neuro-psychiatric tests will help ensure
quality police officers in Q.C.
    
Countless cases of murders, homicide, robbery-holdups, indiscriminate firing, torture and
violation of human rights involving young members of the police force have been investigated in the past
to the embarrassment of the majority of the members of the 170,000-strong organization who are doing
their job properly and efficiently.
    
Hence, Gen. Dela Rosa declared the need for a strict background check and conduct of neuro-
psychiatric test and evaluation of all police applicants as part of the improved PNP recruitment
procedures that will be based purely on qualification standards, merit and fitness.
    
Since last year, the PNP chief has dismissed 247 uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the
organization who tested positive for substance abuse. The PNP Internal Affairs Service also filed 1,835
administrative cases against PNP personnel involved in illegal drug activities.
    
Officials explained that the attitude and aptitude of applicants should be given consideration
by all PNP recruitment personnel. The PNP leadership previously ordered a study on why policemen who
have passed all qualification tests and underwent  good training became involved in grave criminal and
administrative offenses as soon as they graduate.
    
The PNP chief said the strict conduct of background investigation and neuro-psychiatric test and
evaluation on police applicants will help address the situation.
    
At present, the PNP has a recruitment process based mainly on merit and fitness. But still,
other officials have expressed full support for Gen. Dela Rosa’s strict review of the conduct of
background investigation and neuro-psychiatric examination of recruits in coordination with the PNP
Health Service.
    
The PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management said that prior to a presidential  
directive ordering the PNP to review the medical screening procedures for new recruits, they have
already formed a Technical Working Group composed of medical officers from the different specialties to
review and revise the PNP’s Physical Examination Standards Manual.
    
The intent was not only to make the PNP Manual abreast with the changes in the medical field but
more importantly to ensure a high level of integrity and credibility insofar as the medical phase of the
recruitment process is concerned.
    
“We have to look at the background of the cop too, his environment,” PNP spokesman, Chief
Superintendent Dionardo B. Carlos said as he called on the public and the media included to help them
eradicate rogues in the police uniform by reporting the presence.
    
In coordination with the Philippine Public Safety College, the PNP chief said they are reviewing
and enhancing the current basic recruit training program to ensure that basic policing skills and
discipline are fully ingrained and interaction by every recruit before they are fully deployed in the
streets.