Miyerkules, Marso 19, 2014
Police Stop and Frisk Help Lower Shooting Incidents
BY MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Despite the brouhahas spawned by the Stop and Frisk method by policemen in the cities of Philadelphia and New York, Filipino policemen who satisfied themselves to visual search can look how effective this method in deterring crimes like shooting incidents .
Stop and Frisk is a type of limited search when police confront a suspicious person in an effort to prevent a crime from taking place. The police frisk (pat down) the person for weapons and questions him.
According to the recent column of Dick Morris at DickMorris.com titled “ Stop And Frisk Decision Based On Tortured Reading Of The Constitution” the spate of crimes in the cities of New York ( 8.5 million population and Philadelphia (1.5 million population:) dwindled with 450 homicides and 334 homicides last year respectively.
“The ability to stop and frisk men lingering on street corners in the middle of the night in high drug and crime areas has played a key element in reducing the murder rate.
Particularly in concert with New York’s mandatory minimum three year sentence for possession of an unlicensed, loaded firearm within the city, the law has forced guns off the street and driven down the murder rate appreciably.
To measure the impact of the stop and frisk and mandatory minimum gun sentence laws, compare New York with Philadelphia. Both have lots of poverty — 21% in New York and 25% in Philadelphia. The per capita police presence in each place is comparable, “ Morris, a former Bill Clinton’s adviser, and Republican strategist, said.
“Imagine 450 shooting incidents in a population of 8.5 million in New York City versus the wild-west gun- for-hire Pangasinan with less than three million people, and we’re talking about New York as a city and not as a province.
It means the stop-and-frisk deters more spate of gun-related incidents,” I told Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil, a former two-star police general, when I met him recently at Consuelo’s in Lingayen after the press conference of Senator Peter Cayetano.
Bataoil, an advocate of a gung-ho police action versus criminals, told me before that to mitigate the shooting incidents in Pangasinan that scared the wits out of some people, stake holders should study the following: motive, opportunity, and instrument. On "motive" he posed “Bakit ang tao ay gagawin ang isang illegal na hindi maka Dios ,at sa matinding galit?” On "opportunity", he expounded that the situation in the area where the criminal mind felt he would be successful to perpetrate his evil acts.
He said "instrument" is gun, bladed weapon, poison, hard object, or whatever thing that could be used for the commission of the crime. “What is the formula to prevent crime? If you talk of motive, dapat i-reform na kaagad. Kung itong neighbor na ito, may land conflict – i-resolve na natin,” he stressed.
Bataoil, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, explained that to stall “opportunity” is police visibility, check points, raids and searches of suspected safe houses of criminals. “Kahit na gutom na gutom (pero) secured ang area kagustuhan niyang tirahin kung ikaw ay may security forces at wala ang pagkaka-taon na (iyon) hindi niya maisasagawa,”he explained in the vernacular. While negation of “instrument” is strict licensing of firearms, and confiscation of loose firearms.
Our Supreme Court has replete with jurisprudences on warrantless search that can be made in the following cases: a. Moving vehicles and the seizure of evidence made in plain view; b. As long as the vehicle is neither searched nor its occupant/s subjected to a body search, and the inspection of the vehicle is merely limited to a visual search; c. When the occupant/s of the vehicle appear to be nervous or suspicious or exhibit unnatural reaction. d. If the officer conducting the search has reasonable or probable cause to believe that either the occupant/s is a law offender or that the instrumentality or evidence pertaining to the commission of a crime can be found in the vehicle to be searched; or e. On the basis of prior confidential information which are reasonablycorroborated by other attendant matters.
You can read too my earlier column that talked about stop and frisk and warrantless search " It’s a Joke: Police tied to Visual Search" that can be acceccessed at http://northwatch.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/ortigoza-its-a-joke-police-tied-to-visual-search/.
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