Recruitment into the Police Force!
There is always a relief in communities at news that government is giving effects to its policy of safety especially at night. Armed and highway robberies usually occur at night and this has become scary. Therefore, the public will be encouraged that the government is considering large scale recruitment into the police force particularly in the Operational Security Division (OSD) in order to tackle the problems related to safety and security.
The recruitment will not only give hope for safety and security, but will also address the unemployment problem conundrum in the government.
It is important to underline that in the recruitment process into the police force as well as the military, special attention should be paid to persons with clean track record and in possession of special skills and trades such as plumbers, mechanics and masons among others.
Indeed, the large number of people coming forward for recruitment must give rise to caution; it will be quite easy in the rush to save a situation, to create another by the inclusion among the recruited persons of undesirable characters. There have been cases where persons involved in armed robbery, had stated to the police that the weapons they used were given to them by the police officers. The courts have also found police officers guilty of aiding and abetting crime.
Also, officers have used guns allocated to them to perpetrate violence; there was the case of OSD personnel who killed his wife with his gun out of jealousy. Indeed, in the last recruitment of police officers, there were cases of known criminals who applied.
It is a good thing that the constabulary had been abolished when it became known that the special constables were a menace to the safety and security of citizens. This means that the safety and protection of life and property is now exclusively in the hands of the police.
Private security companies are providing auxiliary support to the police, but their personnel are not well paid and armed, which makes the vulnerable to connivance with armed robbers.
If the country should rely on the police who describe itself as “the force for good”, a good measure of scrutiny should be applied to ensure that criminals do not join the force. Otherwise, trying to solve one problem can lead to creating another one.
In the last recruitment, there was a frightening suspicion that one hardened criminal went through as no records of him were available. Fortunately, through the good sense and community responsibility of a member of a Local Police Partnership Board, attention was drawn to this man, and an awkward situation was averted.
Arms and child trafficking are still being reported together with large scale smuggling in and out of the country, despite the presence of police, military, immigration and customs officers at the boarders and checkpoints on the highways. The question is, will the recruitment of one thousand and more police officers solve the problem? There is also the question as to whether the new recruits would be trained in intelligence gathering so that possible crimes could be forestalled and the dense of criminal gangs are identified to combat their activities.
These questions are relevant, but what needs to be done now is that all must show the maximum responsibility and those recommending people to join the force must ensure that they are not recommending frustrated opportunists and potential criminals with no true passion to police duty.
Recommendation should not be based on loyalty to the party in power or finding jobs for party youths who lack the discipline required to work as police officers.
The main task of the police is to ensure safety of life and property and when those are at stake, recruitment into the force must be handled with care if the Police should be a force for good!
By Amadi Abadi
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