By Omon-Julius Onabu
Delta State Government yesterday expressed its readiness to ensure the effective community policing of the state with the public presentation of a 378-member of Special Constabulary, comprising the trainees, who recently graduated from a special training exercise in the state.
Making the presentation at the Community Policing Sensitisation Awareness Campaign held in Asaba, the state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, said the new approach to community policing was prompted by the unacceptable increase in crime rate in the country.
Okowa, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Chiedu Ebie, charged the special constabularies to see their engagement as a clarion call to undertake the onerous task of helping to secure their respective communities.
According to the governor, “Today’s sensitisation/awareness campaign is underscored by the need to bring to the fore the roles and duties of the 378 newly trained Special Constabularies, who will be deployed in their various local communities in the state, where invariably they would cultivate closer ties and affinity with community leaders, and hopefully ensure the security of citizens at the local level.
“You will recall that not too long ago, this same venue played host to leaders of the South-south region, the Inspector-General of Police and the police high command in the form of a town hall meeting and interactive session where issues of security were extensively discussed, and the IG rolled out his plans on the concept of community policing in the face of rising insecurity and crime.
“I am glad that today, the issue of community policing has progressed from mere thoughts into a reality with the recruitment and training of over 10,000 constabularies nationwide, and I must commend the Police IG, Mohammed 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 with them.
“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 become part of the neighbourhood.”
While thanking the traditional rulers in the state for the efforts in ensuring security in the state, Okowa commended “the Nigerian police for this laudable initiative designed to change the age-long approach to tackling crime through a new strategy of employing partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively deal with the immediate, and largely localised conditions that stimulate crime and other social disorder.”
He congratulated the outgoing Commissioner of Police, Mr. Afiz Mohammed Inuwa, on his new posting as AIG Zone 13 in Awka, Anambra State.
Earlier, AIG Inuwa said the successful passing out of 378 successful Special Constabularies signaled additional manpower to enhance the policing of local government areas across the state.
Inuwa pointed out that “the creation of the Special Constabularies is a way of involving the community in the policing architecture as envisioned by the IG in the domestication of community policing strategy to strengthen the operationalisation and intelligence gathering of the Force.”
In his remarks, the Chairman, Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers and Co-Chairman, State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SPAC), the Obi of Owa, Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II, said community policing became essential because security has become an essential ingredient of governance.
“On behalf of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, we congratulate you, hoping that you will not fail,” Efeizomor said, urging the police force as an establishment to carry out an image-cleansing exercise.
“Nothing will stop this country from having a viable and productive Nigerian 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 hands must be on deck to ensure the successful take off of the community policing in Delta State,” the Owa monarch said.