The 23rd Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare was inducted amidst joy and more hope for the police service. This expectation arises from the background of the performance of COP Dr. Dampare in the past two months when he was in acting capacity.
During the short period, Dr. Dampare showed commitment to clamp down on crime and also ensure that the police exhibit high level of professionalism and become more accountable. For instance, the Police Service for the first time rendered an unqualified apology to the general public after some men in uniform assaulted journalist in Accra. This is the first step in building trust for the police service.
In accordance with Article 282 (1) of the 1992 Constitution, the president is mandated to appoint an IGP in consultation with the Council of State. It is assuring to hear the president during the induction of the new IGP to declare that the ‘police is the public and the public is the police.’ Understanding this principle provides an opportunity to improve on police-civilian relations.
A major problem with the police service is how politicize the institution has become over the years. Many have called for deliberate programme to depoliticize the Police Service so it is able to deliver adequate security to the public without fear or favour.
As confirmed by the president in his statement, the peace and safety of the nation must be paramount for national development. however, there are several security problems facing the country which include: chieftaincy dispute, land dispute, religious intolerance, ethnic animosity and pollical rivalry. These problems are compounded by drug trafficking, armed robbery, proliferation of small arms, etc these problems places a huge responsibility on the head of the police service.
To successfully be able to address these problems, the police institution must be adequately resourced in terms of logistics, human resource, financial resource, etc. It is therefore a welcoming news to hear the president indicate in his statement during the induction of the new IGP that the police service is being retooled.
Retooling the police service has been the expectation of many interest groups to build the capacity of the institution in their operations to combat crime. As a result, any pronouncement in that regard must be taken serious and should not be just rhetoric or political talk.
As the new IGP assumes office, there is the hope that the institution will be renewed to build public trust so that adequate security will be achieved in Ghana.
Congratulation, Inspector General of Police COP Dr. George Akuffo Dampare.
By: Emmanuel F. Mantey (Executive Director)
Security & Conflict Management Bureau – Ghana