Potrerillos Public Safety Message

Potrerillos has no crimes to report however this is no time to let your guard down, please stay alert.

Some interesting news from our friends at the National Police. The National Police is implementing a new grid system which divides the whole of Panama into sectors. With that they are slowly moving towards more permanent assignments of Officers. This means that they will assign individual Officers to sectors permanently instead of regularly rotating them around. Permanent assignments will create better continuity which allows individual officers to be more effective in their areas of assignment. Hopefully we will receives a batch of dedicated Officers who will integrate into our communities and stay awhile. In the States Officers are required to live in the same community in which they serve, a practice that Panama slowly adopting.

According to the Police the new grid system or “sectors” as they are called will enhance the management of Police, Fire, EMS, Boarder Protection, Immigration, Health Department Education and just about every function of the Panamanian Government. In our area that includes the “District of Dolega we are assigned “Sector K-A-24”. This is important because if you are trying to describe where you are located to a “911” Operator in Panama City who is unfamiliar with “Potrerillos, District of Dolega” you can tell them “Sector K-A-24”.

This new grid system will be helpful as there are actually three locations through Panama that contain Potrerillos as part of their name or location and can cause confusion. The National Police will be the first ones to implement this new grid or sector system followed by other Emergency Services over time.

Let’s talk electric

If you live in Potrerillos you probably know that the Power Grid that supplies electricity tour area is unhealthy. The main electric lines or Primary Lines are the high voltage transmission lines that deliver the electricity that we all depend on. However like most things in Panama the electrical infrastructure is not always maintained at its best. In Potrerillos we have only one set of Primary Lines for the whole area.

Most residents in Potrerillos and undoubtedly other communities who utilize this power grid experience minor flocculation’s in current or unstable power supply. This fluctuating power is hard on electronics and can cause damage to appliances. Although the reasons are not fully understood what is understood is that this is not good for anything that consumes electricity.

Sensitive electronics like Flat Screen TV’s and computers are especially venerable. To help control this unstable power one can install a battery backup unit with a voltage regulator and surge protection. I have all my expensive electronics operating from these units to protect them. There are small voltage regulators available for individual appliances that simply plug into the wall outlet and will protect whatever you have plugged into the device.

Another occasional problem with our Power Grid includes the primary lines arcing across to the secondary lines that can cause a transformer to blow out and introduce high voltage spikes into your homes electrical system. This could also seriously electrocute someone if they were in contact with any unprotected electrical appliance.

To address this problem you should consider a Whole House Surge Trap. This is a small electronic device that you connect to your main breaker panel which prevents a power surge from entering your homes electrical infrastructure. It works by diverting a high voltage surge to ground. It can also protects your entire homes electrical service from the damaging effects of Lighting Strikes.

All of this electrical safety equipment is available in David and is highly recommended for your personal safety and preservation of your electronics. If anyone has any questions about this protective equipment I have installed many of them thought my home that you may analyze.

As the Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch & Public Safety Facilitator I constantly look for ways to improve safety and security in our community. Recently I installed a high powered Micro Burst Emergency Flashing Beacon front of my residence (attached). When activated it is visible from a long distance and can direct Emergency Responders to my location in a flash. This is especially important as much of our community has no numerical addresses making it difficult for Emergency Responders to locate someone. I have coordinated with the Dolega Police, Fire and EMS Services who understand that they can look for the red flashing beacon when responding to my residence.

My residence has also been designated as a reference point and can be used as a location for Emergency Responders to intercept anyone is in need of help. This means that anyone in need of emergency assistance can come to my location and wait in the safety of my home for the responders to arrive. All Emergency Responders know where my home is located with the Red Strobe Light. If anyone is interested in acquiring this type of Emergency lighting I have a good source in the USA.

There are many new Ex-pat who have moved into Potrerillos that may be aware of the Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch & Public Safety Programs but may not understand that the PNW Programmer that’s me possesses the only portable Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in our Township. This emergency medical equipment (attached) is used to defibrillate one’s hart in the event of cardiac arrest. If you or someone you know is experiencing cardiac arrest and needs assistance “RIGHT NOW” the likelihood of receiving this life saving help is remote if you need to drive to David.

You can call the “911” EMS Unit co-located with the Dolega Fire Department (776-0020) however they may or may not be able to find your unmarked location at night. If someone is in cardiac arrest and needs help NOW you have the option to contact me or come to my location for AED help. You may also go directly to the Dolega Fire Station for advanced medical assistance, the directions are posted on the Emergency Contact Information sheet.

Attached you will find an updated “Emergency Contact Information” sheet. It is recommended that you place a copy in a location for quick reference. It is also recommended to keep a copy in your vehicle(s) for road side assistance.

Potrerillos Neighborhood Watch Facilitator


4 thoughts on “Potrerillos Public Safety Message

  1. So does that mean we will now have the “Pago Police” permanently assigned to the phony speed traps and “gringo harassment” zones???

    Maybe if they didn’t have the “Pago Police” every 5 miles on the highway standing around talking on their cell fons all day, waiting for the gringo vehicles and have them assigned to “Protect” our towns, things would be different as far as local crime goes here.

    Just a thought…..

  2. Two suggestions:
    Give the AED to the Fire Department,
    Convert the emergency doc to a pdf format.

  3. Interesting that the PN are going to permanent assignments by grid; wish we had something like that in Ecuador.

    We’ve suffered from constant rotations of cops throughout the country for…. well, forever, and it’s a constant aggravation, both for the citizenry, tired of high crime rates and the cops themselves. The rotations result in constant disruptions of personal and professional lives, and it prevents them from getting to know their neighborhoods, which they’re supposed to protect…

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