July 14, 2024

It was 3 a.m. on Jan. 19 this year when 39-year-old Denver Kispay was crossing at Km. 6, Betag, La Trinidad in front of the last gate of Benguet State University and was hit by a speeding vehicle, which did not stop and left him on the road. He died at the hospital due to injuries.
Police investigators were left with a blank wall with Kispay’s case, as the closed-circuit television footage at the scene was too dark to see details of the vehicle. There were no witnesses either. But La Trinidad Municipal Police Station Chief Maj. Cleff Vencio urged the investigators to look for other possible angles or means to establish the identity of the suspect. 
“I told the detectives there’s no such thing as a blank wall in a case. Let us walk through from the beginning, and that’s what they did,” Vencio said.
The investigators have recovered debris of the vehicle from the scene, a broken headlight and wrinkled hood that served as their starting point. They posted the photographs on Facebook and called on concerned individuals to come forward.
A mechanic responded to the post claiming he had a customer fitting the description of the debris and damage of the vehicle. The investigators went to La Union to look for the mechanic. The debris matched with the pieces of evidence found at the scene.
“It was good that the mechanic did not throw the debris he removed when he repaired the suspect’s vehicle,” he said.
The investigators later traced the suspect, who turned out to be a foreign businessman, in Tanay, Rizal where he resides. A case was filed against the suspect, represented by his lawyer, in a local court.
“I saw the dedication of the detectives in solving the crime. They exhausted even the simplest way to get information,” he said.
Vencio, who took the helm of the LTMPS last January, said the solution of the case and other accomplishments has helped increase their crime clearance efficiency and crime solution efficiency as a police station. This means they did not only lower crimes but also solve these crimes.
Such accomplishments led the police station as a unit awardee in the 119th Police Service Anniversary celebration as the best municipal police station, besting more than 1,600 other municipal police stations in the country.
The citation described the LTMPS “as the best municipal police station for exemplary performance in upholding the PNP mission of enforcing the law, preventing and controlling crimes, maintaining peace and order, and ensuring public safety and internal security, with the active support of the community for the period of July 1, 2019 to March 15, 2020, consequently raising the standards of police service in the PNP organization.”
Vencio received the award in the presence of Mayor Romeo Salda during the awarding rites at Camp Bado Dangwa that was simulcast live in all police regional offices and the PNP main headquarters in Camp Crame on Aug. 7.
The station will also receive P350,000 cash prize from President Rodrigo Duterte.  
Vencio said the LTMPS personnel displayed team work, including various offices of the station – the  administration, investigation, operation, intelligence section, and drug enforcement unit – which have greatly contributed for the award.
He added the support of the local government unit and the cooperation of the community helped the police station implement its peace and order programs. 
Vencio said they are also employing the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) crime mapping. They also do not only focus on one area but also shuffle their personnel that will man the various hotspots, where crimes usually occur.
Another new addition to their system is the IBM i2 link analysis for its Covid-19 response program, which they learned from Baguio City. The link analysis tool helps in analyzing large volumes of data and enables information sharing. The system provides different views on how a patient could infect or transfer the virus to others by looking into their daily activities. This helps in proper contact tracing in this pandemic.
LTMPS is building an operation center in the police station and linking with the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office with its systems. – Ofelia C. Empian