Best of Rela, Civil Defence to keep streets safe

By Regina Lee, NST

PUTRAJAYA: The best from the Civil Defence Department and Rela have been enlisted to help police keep the streets safer.

The Home Ministry had handpicked 254 personnel — described
as the cream of the crop — from both organisations who have been
sent for advanced training on policing the streets.

They are undergoing a two-week training programme and are expected to be assigned to crime hot spots beginning Aug 16.

This is in line with the government’s promise to reduce street crimes by at least 20 per cent by the end of next year.

In announcing this yesterday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said although the volunteer policemen would not be equipped with firearms, they would still be a force to be reckoned with.

He said the 254 — 115 from the Civil Defence and 139 from Rela — were shortlisted from 1,000 applicants last week.

Hishammuddin said police had identified 157 crime hot spots in
Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang and Johor, but the present batch would be assigned to the Klang Valley.

“I hope they will not let the public down,” he said after chairing his ministry's post-cabinet meeting here yesterday.

He also hoped the move would kill two birds with one stone by also changing the perception of the public towards the voluntary agencies,which he said was one of scepticism and cynicism.

“We hope to have a large police volunteer unit and welcome new applicants,” he said.

For now, the ministry would only take in Civil Defence and Rela
members for the police volunteer force.

The intake for the police volunteer force is open to those below 30 years old. Selections in other states will start soon.

Hishammuddin also said the government was serious in looking after the welfare of policemen by providing for their housing needs and children’s education.

There are also plans to strengthen the police cooperative.
“We want to show our policemen that we care for them and appreciate their services.

“We will allocate more for them in terms of equipment and infrastructure of the police station.”

Reducing the crime rate is the first of the six National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) and key performance indicators Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced on his 100th day in office earlier this month.

Hishammuddin is one of the six lead ministers in charge of the various task forces as outlined in the NKRA, with him overseeing the crime reduction aspect.