Cops revive art of keeping a diary

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    ‘There are several negative issues hurled against the PNP, but on this one… the PNP deserves our praise.’

    YOU might think that policemen are old fashioned when you hear this news, because at this age of 5G cellphones, artificial intelligence and smart cities, members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are keeping and jotting down personal events and encounters in notebook-diaries and cellphones.

    Not that they like to do it, but as personnel of the uniformed service, they just have to obey their superiors or the chain of command. In an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease, the PNP has intensified its monitoring and contact-tracing campaign by requiring all personnel, both civilian employees at headquarters and cops in the field, to have a Close Contact Diary using notebooks or smartphones.

    The Close Contact Diary contains the names of the people that they meet, make close contact with, as well as the time, date and place of the incident. Just like a police blotter, these diary entries will make it easy for the organization to trace the virus once it rears its ugly head in any of the police venues. Policemen and their staff who would make close contact with persons who would test positive for the coronavirus will be subjected to mandatory quarantine, especially if the contact happened while they were not wearing a face mask or a face shield.

    These precautionary measures are aimed at compelling all police personnel to wear their face masks and face shields even inside police stations, said Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, deputy chief for Administration and concurrent commander of the Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force (ASCOTF).

    The PNP has been at the frontlines in the government’s fight against the pandemic and it is but proper for itself to take the necessary precautions for its men and women.

    The latest data showed that 9,241 of the PNP personnel have been infected by the coronavirus since March last year, and 28 of them have died. A total of 8,897 cops and employees have fully recovered, while 316 patients are considered as active cases.

    Eleazar is pro-active in his approach about the necessary preemptive measures against the viral infection. He said that cops who engaged with infected persons, even if they are not yet subjected to RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test, will be immediately be taken to quarantine facilities. He said the possibility of coronavirus infection is high if they made close contact with a COVID-positive patient while not wearing a face mask and face shield.

    There are several negative issues hurled against the PNP, but on this one — the organization’s serious handling of the risk of coronavirus infection and the stringent sanctions imposed on violators of health protocols within its ranks — the PNP deserves our praise.