M'sia police roping in volunteers to beef up community security

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Kuala Lumpur (The Star/ANN) - Teachers, doctors, businessmen and other people of good standing in the community are to be roped in to beef up the police volunteer reserve from 5,000 to 15,000 personnel.

At the same time, a separate recruitment exercise will be carried out soon to meet the target announced by Najib Tun Razak when he tabled the budget for 2013 fiscal year last Friday.

The move is in line with the community policing concept practised in countries such as Britain, where volunteers help police tackle low-level crime and anti-social behaviour.

Increasing the visibility of the men in blue, as Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ismail Omar noted, made a community safer.

The IGP said the recruitment of teachers was still in the planning stage and he would speak to the relevant authorities to get their permission.

"Teaching will still be their priority and they can perform their PVR [Police Volunteer Reserve] duties in their free time," Ismail stressed yesterday.

He said the teachers chosen would not only watch over schools but also help police ensure safety in the neighbourhood.

"They can also wear their uniform to school to reassure parents about their children's safety," he added.

Ismail said state police chiefs had been told to start identifying the schools and neighbourhoods that needed PVR officers.

"With teachers as PVR officers, we can deploy fewer policemen at schools," he said, adding that police and Rela [paramilitary civil volunteer corps] personnel were now being placed outside schools from time to time.

He emphasised that teachers and other respected individuals would not only be helping the police but serving their community as well by agreeing to be part of the PVR.

On the recruitment exercise, he said applicants must be physically fit and without any criminal record.

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