AS the traditional Simbang Gabi (Dawn Masses) is about to begin on December 16, the San Juan City police will tighten security and will deploy cops to conduct patrol near churches in the city.
According to Senior Supt. Dindo Reyes, San Juan City police chief, the deployment of more cops during the whole duration of Simbang Gabi aims to ensure safety of Filipino Catholics going to the churches.
Reyes said the deployment of more cops is based on the directive of Eastern Police District (EPD) director Chief Supt. Bernabe Balba to secure churchgoers and maintain peace and order during Holiday season.
The San Juan police chief also instructed his men to watch over churches, to be on lookout particularly for petty thieves taking advantage of crowds in churches.
They are also on lookout for gangs or individuals out to make trouble during the Dawn Masses.
A group of policemen will conduct aggressive patrol in the streets near the churches to prevent crime, to interrupt crimes in progress and to apprehend criminals victimizing churchgoers.
The city police will set up random checkpoints and start their “Christmas duty on the night of December 15”.
The tightened security will be implemented near five churches in 21 barangays in the city.
Reyes vowed to achieve a “zero crime” in the city during the nine-day Simbang Gabi.
At the same time, Reyes reminded the public to be more vigilant, especially during this time of the year, when crimes usually increase.
He urged them to take part in the city police’s program “Ligtas Kapaskuhan 2018”, which seeks to involve them in crime-fighting efforts.
For nine days starting Dec. 16, Filipinos will flock to churches before dawn to attend the Masses to welcome the birth of Christ.