New Huay Yai police chief wants more patrols, better public relations

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The Huay Yai Police Station’s new superintendent says more patrols are needed to lower crime rates in the district.

Col. Channapat Navalak, the former Pattaya deputy police chief appointed to lead the recently upgraded Huay Yai station, said his force lacks a sufficient number of patrol vehicles, both cars and motorcycles. Officers often must use their own transportation for work, he complained.

Huay Yai, a center for the Pattaya area’s local drug trade, was one of 142 substations promoted to battle crime in problem areas. As its first superintendent, Channapat is determined to bring order to both the streets and his own “house.”

Col. Channapat Navalak, Huay Yai Police Station’s new superintendent, says more patrols are needed to lower crime rates in the district. Col. Channapat Navalak, Huay Yai Police Station’s new superintendent, says more patrols are needed to lower crime rates in the district.

Located on 12 rai of donated land on Highway 331, the 40 million baht station lies away from most of the 50,000 people it serves. The distance puts more pressure on police boxes in Khao Maikaew, Sak-Ngaew and Thungka to keep the peace, as well as the help of police volunteers in the two sub-districts and 18 villages Huay Yai is responsible for.

Channapat’s first moves were to clean and modernize the facility and instill a stronger work ethic into his 48 officers, insisting they abandon their “9-to-5 mentality.” He then set about improving the police’s reputation with the public, assigning junior officers to organize activities for the community and host talks on the law and the area’s drug problem.

While problematic for patrols, the station’s relative isolation might be a boost for morale, Channapat said. He has plans to use the empty fields around the building for parking, vegetable growing, fish ponds and chicken cultivation. Following HM the King’s “sufficiency economy” principles, the plan would provide food for the station and its officers.

A second-generation policeman, Channapat is the son of Maj. Gen. Chaisang Navalak, the former head of education for the Royal Thai Police. His wife, Pawinee, is also a police captain. Channapat graduated from the police academy in 1981, serving as a investigator in Khon Kaen, Makasan, Ponnakaew and Trat.

His first managerial assignment was a deputy superintendent for investigation in Chantaburi, followed by a deputy chief role in Soi Dao, Rayong and Chachoengsao before coming to Pattaya. A year ago he was demoted to a post in Nong Yai in a shakeup of the Pattaya Police Station, but his role in solving the murder of Bangkok’s mayor put him back in good graces again, earning him the Huay Yai job.

Channapat admitted his rise through police ranks has taken longer than classmates in Cadet Class 34, but he said it hasn’t bothered him. He said his only concern was helping those in trouble.

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