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PNP eyes procurement of 4,000 more body cameras in 2024

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said Sunday that it has requested for the procurement of an additional 4,000 body-worn cameras next year, as their current supply of the device remains a challenge at only nearly 3,000 units.

In a Super Radyo dzBB interview, PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Jean Fajardo said that the police force now only uses a total of 2,956 body cameras — far from the ideal number of at least 40,000 to 45,000.

“For 2024, I understand ay merong additional na at least nasa around 4,000 ata ‘yung request namin na kasama sa budget. Hopefully by next year ay ma-fulfill na ‘yung kaunti nating variant. Hindi man ‘yung kabuuan ng 45,000 pero at least, base sa huling budget hearing, ay kasama sa 2024 budget ‘yung procurement ng additional body-worn cameras,” she said.

(We have requested around 4,000 more body cams under the 2024 budget. I hope we can fulfill our variant next year. It may not be for the whole 45,000 cameras, but at least based on the 2024 budget hearing, we will procure additional body-worn cameras.)

The PNP launched a body-worn camera system in 2021 for the police to ensure transparency and legitimacy of law-enforcement operations.

Since there is a very limited supply of body-worn cameras, Fajardo said that the PNP has prioritized its distribution to personnel in police stations, as well as its national operational support units like the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Drug Enforcement Group, Anti-Kidnapping Group, and Anti-Cybercrime Group.

“‘Yung isang unit lamang ng camera would cost more than P135,000, kung hindi ako nagkakamali. Kasi hindi lang siya isang camera, kasama doon ang program, ‘yung docking station, ‘yung GPS capability niya, at internet at SIM capability niya,” she added.

(A camera unit would cost more than P135,000, if I'm not mistaken. It's not just a camera, it includes the program, the docking station, its GPS capability, and its internet and SIM capability.)

For 2024, Fajardo said that the PNP will also prioritize its capacity enhancement program in terms of constructing additional infrastructure and police stations.

She said the PNP will also enhance its cybersecurity measures and the training of its personnel.

The PNP is also targeting to hire more manpower next year with an aim to reach its ideal 1:500 police-to-population ratio. —KG, GMA Integrated News