Deputy Inspector General of Police, Logistics and Supplies, DIG Taiwo Fredrick Lakanu, has said that the launching of “Operation Puff-Adder” is the police authority’s zero tolerance for crime and criminality: “The concept of community policing is the strategy to restore the lost primacy of the police in the internal security framework of the country.
“It is to resolve to integrate community policing into our law enforcement functions. We have initiated action towards inaugurating a Nigeria Police Community Policing Implementation Standing Committee to drive the process. In the coming days, the country will witness concrete action directed at evolving community-oriented police.
“It is my firm conviction that no police agency in any part of the world regardless of its level of training manpower profile, equipment holding or welfare regime can succeed without the thrust, consent and support of the citizens they were employed to serve and project.
“Any police force that is committed to professional efficiency must therefore evolve a citizen driven policing architecture that will not only return the police to the people but demonstrate commitment to partnering with the community towards identifying and prioritizing community threats and jointly developing solutions to such threats.
“I want to give kudos to Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone XI, Osogbo, AIG Adeleye Oyebade, for the zonal security stakeholders’ forum on community policing designed to galvanise the people of Ondo, Oyo and Osun states towards identifying and partnering with police on their peculiar security challenges. The indispensability of a common front to fight our common enemies who make life miserable cannot be overemphasised.
“The factors that engender conflict and distrust between the citizens and the police particularly, issues touching on misuse of firearms and sundry abuses of police powers, are being looked into. We are in the process of migrating from total dependence on lethal weaponry as first line of police operations towards acquiring and deploying less lethal weaponry such as Taser and stun guns.
“Under the new policy, personnel on low-risk policing duties like routine patrols, arrest duties and civil disorder management will be armed with Taser or stun gun against the misapplication of lethal weapons by the police when face with low level threats.
“Also, the appreciation of the possibility of a correlation between the resonating incidences of misuse of firearms and other extrajudicial action by police personnel and work-related in the line of duty, the shift duty structure of the Nigeria Police currently on 12-hour, two-shift system should be reverted to the traditional eight-hour, three-shift standard.
“The import of this order is that no police personnel should be made to perform any duty exceeding eight hours within a space of 24 hours unless there is a local or national emergency. The Force Medical Service has been directed to introduce emotional intelligence, stress management and cognitive therapy towards enhancing the psychological and emotional stability of police personnel while on duty.
“The initiatives are directed to close the trust gap between the police and citizens, create a conducive condition for partnership between the police and citizens and enhance our potentials for the attainment of internal security mandates within the context of the principles of community policing.
“The partnership models of this nature represent a critical source of inspiration to the police and should be sustained. I have recommended its adoption by other police commands across the country in our renewed drive to address the threats of crime in the country.”