What is now known as Camp Olivas dates back  to 1917 when it started serving as police station and relief center, evacuation based and hospital site, as well as cadre and mobilization area, in 1936. Camp Olivas was established as the First Pampanga Cadre Camp utilized by the then Insular Police known as “Philippine Constabulary. The camp is known to have been named in honor of Captain Julian Olivas in 1939 who died in the line of duty on July 12, 1939 when the heroic PC Inspector (equivalent to Provincial Director) was shot from behind by four men identified with the labor group while mediating a labor dispute at the Pampanga Sugar Development Company (PASUDECO). President Manuel L. Quezon immediately awarded him posthumously the Distinguished Contact Star medal. It was until 1957 when it became the seat of peace-keeping regional force in the guise of the First Philippine Constabulary Zone.

Early Military Activities of the Camp 1917 — 1936  – as police station and relief center, evacuation base and hospital site, as well as cadre and mobilization area.

1936 — 1940 – Camp Olivas was established in 1936 as the First Pampanga Cadre Camp utilized by then Insular Police known as “Philippine Constabulary”. It was mainly used as the headquarters of the Constabulary Inspector of Pampanga in its Police/Law enforcement activities.

1940 — 1946 – At the outbreak of the Second World War (WWII), the Camp was used as the mobilization center for men folk in Central Luzon. These men bravely fought in Bataan and Corregidor. The Camp was converted into a Red Cross Hospital until fall of Bataan and the Japanese were driven out in the early months of 1945.

1946 — 1957 – Barely two years after our independence, Camp Olivas was made the headquarters of the First Military Area (1MA). Camp Olivas became the center of our Anti-Huk campaign in Central Luzon where the loodiest encounters took place between the government forces and “HUKBALAHAP”  (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon) under renegade guerilla, Luis Taruc.

On November 15, 1957, the first Military Area transferred its headquarters to Camp Servillano Aquino in San Miguel, Tarlac, Tarlac. Camp Olivas, on the other hand, was officially made the headquarters of the newly established First Philippine Constabulary Zone (1PCZ). From the date of its activation, 1PCZ became the hub of the government’s armed machineries in combating the remnants of the HUKBALAHAP, which adopted the name “HMB” (HUKBONG MAGPALAYA NG BAYAN).

The 1PCZ then has jurisdiction over the provinces of Regions 1, 2 and 3, namely: Abra; La Union; Mt Province; Batanes; Nueva Ecija; Cagayan; Ilocos Norte; Ilocos Sur; Pangasinan; Isabela; Bataan; Bulacan; Nueva Ecija; Pampanga; Tarlac and Zambales. In 1969, the area of responsibility of the 1PCZ further expanded when Congress Legistate the division Mountain Province, namely; Benguet, Kalinga Apayao, Ifugao, and retaining Mt Province. So intricate was the peace and order job of the 1PCZ that in a period of two decades, it saw the assignment of fourteen Zone Commanders from 1957 up to 1978 as follows:

COL NICANOR O GARCICOL GARCIA took over in action capacity on June 18, 1973 during the absence of the Zone Commander BG TOMAS DIAZ.

BRIG GEN ROMEO G GATAN was the last Zone Commander of 1PCZ and the first Regional Commander as a result of the activation of the Regional Command 3.

The National Leadership in 1978, in a move to further enhance the effectiveness of the anti-dissident campaign, approved the activation of 13 Regional Commands that corresponded to the 13 political regions, thereby rendering partnership between the local political leaders and the PC/INP more cohesive. Thus in August 1, 1978, 1st Philippine Constabulary Zone (1PCZ) was deactivated and the Regional Command 3 (RECOM 3) was activated with the following provinces under its operational jurisdiction: (1) Aurora, (2) Bataan, (3) Bulacan, (4) Nueva Ecija, (5) Pampanga (Angeles City), (6) Tarlac and (7) Zambales (Olongapo City). Aurora, although belonging to the political jurisdiction of Region 4, was placed under the police and military AOR of RECOM3 which has better access to it.

From 1978 up to 1991, Regional Commander 3 was lucky to have the following gallant officers as its Regional Commanders’ to wit:

On December 13, 1990, Republic Act Number 6975, otherwise known as the “Department of Interior and Local Government Act of 1990” was signed into law which paved way for the creation of a police force that is national in scope and civilian in character that is now the Philippine National Police. This was created to promote peace and order, ensure public safety and further strengthen local government capability aimed towards the effective delivery of a highly efficient and competent police force. Towards this end, the State shall bolster a system of coordination and cooperation among the citizenry, local executives and the integrated law enforcement and public agencies created under RA 6975.

Thus, in January 2, 1991, the Philippine Constabulary and Integrated National Police were abolished and saw the birth of the Philippine National Police and subsequently all the Regional Commands were renamed to Police Regional Office (PRO). Since the formative years of the PRO3, it has had the following commanders:

PDIR ENRIQUE B. GALANG, then The Chief Directional Staff (TCDS) of the Philippine National Police was named Officer-in-Charge of PRO3 from November  17, 2004 until his retirement on December 23, 2004 whilePSSUPT AMADO AGULAR PANEDA SR was designated as Officer-In-Charge of PRO3 from December 23-28, 2004 while waiting for the designation of new Regional Director. From the years when it was known as 1PCZ to the time when it became PC/INP RECOM 3 to PNP RECOM 3 and subsequently to PRO3, the Office has shown that it is possessed of the capabilities necessary to maintain itself as the premier regional security force, the peace builder of Central Luzon, and the guardian of the gateway to Metro Manila from the North.

In retrospect, Camp Olivas, where the Headquarters of the Police Regional Office 3 is located, was born out of the necessities of the time. From 1917 up to 1936, Camp Olivas then was used as police station and the base of relief and evacuation center hospital site, as well as cadre and mobilization area. It was the seat of the first Pampanga Cadre Camp law enforcement activities from 1936 to 1940. During the outbreak of the Second World War (WWII), the Camp was used as the mobilization center for men-folks in Central Luzon who bravely fought in Bataan and Corregidor.

The Camp was converted into a Red Cross Hospital until the fall of Bataan. The Japanese occupied the Camp until they were driven out in the early month of 1945. After the war, Camp Olivas was made the headquarters of the First Military Area in 1947 and became the center of the anti-Huk campaign in Central Luzon where bloodiest encounters took placed between the government forces and the HUKBALAHAP of Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon, which was later became HMB of Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng  Bayan after the war.

During its time as 1PC Zone, Camp Olivas became the focal point of the fight against the lawlessness in Northern and Central Luzon. Camp Olivas was boasts of several task forces created to carry out increasing responsibilities in the maintenance of peace and order and other law enforcement undertakings, to wit:

 TASK FORCE TAMARAW                                             Activated in 1959 to fight against insurgency.
 TASK FORCE FALCON   Activated in 1966 exclusively for Anti-dissident campaign in Angeles  City.
 TASK FORCE LAWINActivated in 1968 for Anti-insurgency campaign in the provinces of Central Luzon to include Cagayan Valley and Quirino Province.
TASK FORCE AGUILAActivated in 1969 with the mission of maintaining peaceful, honest and clean elections in Ilocos Sur.
TASK FORCE KALTASK KALIActivated in 1970 for Anti-insurgency campaign in Cagayan, Ifugao Kalinga, Apayao, Isabela and Nueva Ecija. 

                From its fight against lawlessness in the thirties, the HUKBALAHAP in the late forties, HMB in the fifties and the CPP/NPA in the sixties and early seventies, 1st PC Zone really has a distinguished history in its fight against insurgency and communism. The several coup d’état in the late eighties wherein during the December 1989 coup d’état, Regional Command 3 (RECOM3) was the first to send troops to support and defend the constitution and the government of then President Corazon Aquino which paved way for GENERAL CESAR P NAZARENO, who was then the Regional Commander of RECOM3, to be named by President Aquino as the Chief of the Philippine Constabulary/Integrated National Police (PC/INP) after the retirement of GENERAL RAMON E MONTAÑO in April 1, 1990 and subsequently the first Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 1991.