Keeping Philippine tourism safe: Tourism Police on Luzon Island
Close to 40 police have been manning key tourist destinations in the summer capital, “to assure Baguio visitors that we are here to make sure they are safe,” said Police Col. Allen Rae Co, Baguio police director.
Various groups staged Halloween events over the weekend, drawing children to Session Road since Saturday. The yuletide, which is Baguio’s peak tourist season, has also started.
The public re-introduction of the Tourism police is tied to the city’s new safer city initiative, which involves setting up security cameras and other surveillance devices around the city to help a government command center manage traffic, respond to emergencies, and detect fugitives, said Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who graced the launching program held along downtown Session Road.
The command center will be equipped with an artificial intelligence system that would have facial recognition software, the mayor said earlier this week, but it would not intrude private spaces.
Magalong said the system would monitor areas with high crime rates. The first of its kind in the country, the P200 million safer city program would be financed by Malacañang.
“We also have the friendliest cops,” said Magalong, a retired police general who developed a computer used crime mapping system when he served as Cordillera police director.