For his commitment to professionalism and promotion of police community partnership among other feats since his assumption as police boss, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Imohimi Edgal, was at the weekend honoured as the Police Officer of the year by a Non-Governmental Organisation, The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN).
NOPRIN Foundation is a network of 49 civil society organisations spread across Nigeria and committed to promoting law enforcement accountability and respect for human rights.
It was established to provide opportunities for civil society involvement in police reform and the enhancement of safety, security and justice.
According to the National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma, the choice of Mr. Edgal is squarely based on his clear and demonstrable commitment to police professionalism, transparent and accountable policing, respect for and protection of human rights, promotion of police community partnership, openness and collaboration with civil society groups and other critical stakeholders in the criminal justice sector, and his innovative and effective operational strategies for combating crime and protecting citizens from crime and victimisation.
Prominent among his initiatives that had stemmed crime drastically in the state is the introduction of regular Town Hall Meetings with communities to enable him understand their peculiar needs and enlist their support and to factor the community needs and priorities into his anti -crime plans and strategies, among others.
Nwaguma said : “CP Edgal is firm and vigorous in tackling crime yet conscious of maintaining professional ethics, sensitive to preserving human rights and uncompromising in his anti -corruption stance. This is not just in mantra but also in deed.
“He has exhibited sensitivity to the needs of vulnerable groups such as women and children and has demonstrated his special interest in addressing their special and peculiar safety and security needs. He is open, approachable, unassuming and keeps to his words.”
Responding, Edgal thanked the group for the award but expressed surprise that NOPRIN which is known for criticizing the force is now honouring him.
His words: “Am accepting this award with apprehension because NOPRIN is not known to giving awards. I thought they were coming to criticize me or my actions. Even though they are critics, we see them as partners.
“With this award, NOPRIN is putting me on a radar. They are telling me that they are expecting more from me. I assure Lagosians that we are here to deepen our involvement in institutionalising police community relationship as a strategy to reducing crime in this state. I dedicate this award to the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim for his leadership and initiatives in ensuring a crime free country”.
Present at the event were the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration, DCP Elkanah Ayuba, Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Obi, Executive director, Crime Victims Foundation, Mrs. Gloria Egbuji and Mrs. Juliana Francis of the New Telegraph amount get others.