From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Delta State Government on Wednesday presented 378 Special Constabularies who recently graduated from training on community policing.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who made the presentation at the Community Policing Sensitisation Awareness Campaign held Asaba, said that with the overwhelming increase in crime rate, the approach to community policing has become inevitable.
Represented by Secretary to the State Government, Chiedu Ebie, Okowa urged the special constabularies to see their engagement as a clarion call to serve their communities where they would be deployed.
He recalled that not too long ago, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, rolled out his plans on the concept of community policing in the face of rising insecurity and crime.
‘I am glad that today that the issue of community policing has progressed from mere thought into reality, the recruitment and training of over 10,000 constabularies nationwide, and I must commend the IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu on this feat.
‘Clearly, the evolution of community policing in Nigeria places a demand on the police to better appreciate the needs of citizens, who expectedly look forward to a more trustworthy relationship
‘I, therefore, urge all the newly recruited special constabularies to see their task as one that places a responsibility of trust and service.
‘In understanding the sociology of crime in our society, it is apparent that criminal activities are initiated mostly at the local level and as such your deployment to your various localities of origin to serve would ensure that the police becomes part of the neighbourhood,’ he said.
Outgoing Commissioner of Police in the state, AIG Hafiz Inuwa, had said with the successful passing out of 378 successful special constabularies, additional manpower has been added to support policing in the different local government areas.
‘The creation of the special constabularies is a way of involving the community in the policing architecture as envisioned by the Inspector General of Police in the domestication of community policing strategy to strengthen the operationalisation and intelligence gathering of the Force.
‘The intending special constabularies here in Delta were jointly screened and shortlisted by the Local Government Community Policing Advisory Committee (LGCPAC) and Divisional Community Policing Committee (DCPC) from the 25 local government areas in the state in conjunction with the council chairmen,’ Inuwa stated.
The Chairman of the occasion, DIG Sotonye Wakama (retd) said the police force has been quite concerned about its ability to perform effectively in an atmosphere of rising population and increasing crime wave.
He said community policing was adopted worldwide because it embodies the characteristics and traits of other policing strategies.
Wakama said the essence of community policing entails taking a retrospection on where we were and where we are now and urged police officers to change their style of coercive force.
He said community policing’s components of partnership, problem-solving and organisational transformation are already embedded in the new Police Act and urged the police and the citizenry to work together to curb the rising crime wave in the country.
In his remark, the chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council and Co-Chairman State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SPAC), Obi (Dr) Emmanuel Efeizomor II said community policing became essential because security has become an essential ingredient of governance.
He urged the police as an establishment to carry out an image cleansing, adding that nothing would stop Nigeria “from having a viable and productive Nigeria Police and it is on this note that the establishment of community policing becomes very imperative.
‘The uniform is only a mark of identification otherwise the work of policing belongs to all and sundry. This opportunity demands that all of us must place our hands on deck to ensure the successful take-off of Community Policing in Delta.
‘Delta Traditional rulers commend Governor Okowa for his outstanding contributions in setting up this Special Constabularies to ensure attainment of peace in the state,’ Obi Efeizomor said.
Course Leader of the special constabularies, Chukwuji Monday, appreciated Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, the government and people of Delta for their support to the constabularies.
He said they have been adequately trained to embark on the task ahead, adding that they will not disappoint the government and the people.