Filipino cops like our tactics
Roberto Rosales has seen his share of dangerous situations. He’s a general in the Philippine National Police who’s considered a potential police chief for his nation’s capital, Manila, but for now has ample responsibility as chief superintendent of the Southern District.
The officers under Rosales are responsible for far more than traffic violations and petty thefts. The PNP is both a national and local force, so its policemen also respond to terrorist attacks, handle airport security, patrol territorial waters, enforce drug laws and mount intelligence (and counterintelligence) operations.
Rosales is proud of PNP’s training programs but acknowledges the Philippines is not on the cutting edge of law enforcement. A limited number of officers have gotten exposed to methods from Europe and Australia, and he is among the select few who have come to the United States. PNP simply can’t afford to give everyone this opportunity.
“I have attended several seminars and schooling in the United States, and I find that it would be very helpful in our quest for law and order in our country,” he said in a telephone interview as he headed to headquarters Wednesday morning. “It is not that we lack training here…. I’m sure that the law-enforcement training [programs] given to officers in the United States are the most up-to-date ones.”
With a chuckle, he added: “It would be better if we hear it from the horse’s mouth.”
That is on track to happen by early 2008, and the “horse” in this case is Butte County.
Rosales is working on an “agreement of understanding” with District Attorney Mike Ramsey and several law-enforcement agencies in the county, including BINTF (the narcotics task force) and police departments from Chico, Oroville and Biggs. He met with Ramsey and the chiefs in July, and Rosales hopes to return next month to sign the agreement.
“We like the idea and hope it goes forward,” said Chico Police Capt. Mike Maloney, who attended the meeting. “Everyone agreed it was something worth pursuing if we can get all the pieces together…. Anything we do in California would be of benefit, because California sets the standard for the world in municipal law enforcement.”
In particular, Rosales hopes the PNP officers selected for this training would learn more about investigations, gathering intelligence and managing resources. In return, “whatever experiences we’ve gained in the Philippines, we will share with our United States counterparts,” such as dealing with insurgents and international organized crime.
Why Butte County? Simple: connections.
Rolando Villarama, a former child-support services director under Ramsey, met Rosales on a trip to his home province, Quezon. Rosales, it turns out, is the brother-in-law of one of Villarama’s friends in Sacramento. “When he expressed interest in getting educational programs for the police department he supervises,” Villarama said, “the first thing that came to mind was Mike Ramsey.”
So, when Rosales took a summer trip to California, Villarama brokered the meeting.
“He inquired of me, ‘Is it OK if I introduce you?’ “ Ramsey recalled. “Up comes this general from the Philippines.”
The training program is in “the very conceptual stages,” Ramsey said. Rosales is keeping in regular contact and is enthusiastic about the prospects—as are his subordinates: “The officers are excited for the opportunity of stepping into the land of milk and honey.”