President Akufo Addo has charged the Police Service to as a matter of urgency purge itself of corruption whether it is actual corruption or perceived, if the public is to have confidence in the service going forward.
In an address delivered on his behalf by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, at the Graduation Ceremony of the 47th Cadet Officers Corps held at the Ghana Police Academy in Accra, President Akufo Addo, stated that it is often said that the public is the police and the Police is the public. However, the Police Service, unfortunately, suffers diminishing public image, some might say, lower than it should have. He added that report after report of the Afro-barometer cites the Service, fairly or unfairly, as the most perceived corrupt public institution in Ghana.
“This is not right and it can no longer be the status quo. Citizens can only have confidence in the Police Service when our men and women in uniform are seen to be honest and would enforce the law without fear or favour. Your task, as Officer Cadets, is to help ensure that this perception no longer holds” the President said.
Support for the Police Service
In his address, the President underscored that the most important things for a nation are the peace and safety of its people, and its territorial integrity. He added that it is when these are guaranteed that citizens can go about their lives in security and hope to improve upon the quality of their circumstances. To that end the President said, “the issue of law and order is particularly germaine at this time when indiscipline, lawlessness and outbreaks of mob justice are threatening the rule of law”.
The Executive, President Akufo Addo continued, is determined to work with the Police Service to guarantee the security of citizens in accordance with the rule of law.
“My government is determined to give whatever support is required to ensure that we have the service that the people of Ghana deserve. This year, we are undertaking the rehabilitation of Police Stations across the country to standardize the infrastructure. We aim to build a robust, effective, efficient and disciplined Police force. The policy of my government on law and order is to focus more on proactive and preventive policing, rather than reactive. We will do so by increasing both visibility and capacity. An initial amount of GH¢800 million, in the short term, will support the important task of reducing crime and increasing public safety,” the President said.
Recruitment Target for this Year
This year alone, government’s plan is to recruit 4,000 more Police personnel. “We know that what matters most is not the number of Police officers we recruit, but the number of officers we deploy, and how effectively they are deployed. We are improving the data analytics of the Service to make policing more efficient and alive to modern trends in crime” the President said.
The Alpha Project and other Plans
President Akufo Addo stated that negotiations have just been completed for the rollout of Phase II of the Alpha Project, which will involve the deployment of 8,700 CCTV cameras in all 216 districts, with three command centres in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale.
He added that,”In line with plans to equip the Police better, at least, 1,000 new vehicles will be procured for the Service this year. Already 200 pick-up vehicles have been allocated under Operation Calm Life, with 200 saloon vehicles to be delivered in six weeks’ time, with more to come. We are also on course to set up Special Police Units. Resources have been allocated for police kits, including protective gear and adequate quantities of other essential equipment, including guns and ammunitions. We also expect the Police to strengthen engagement with the communities they serve. We see that as being a more sustainable way of reducing crime”.
In all, 132 officers of the 47th Cadet Officer Corps of the Ghana Police Service were commissioned into the Service.
“Officer Cadets, it has been two years of hard work, and you deserve the commendation and the recognition you are receiving today. The long, sleepless nights you have had to endure, the reprimands from your lecturers, and the sheer volume of academic work undertaken has prepared you for the task of maintaining law and order in the country” the President emphasized.