General News of Sunday, 18 November 2018
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged officers and personnel of the Ghana Police Service to work hard to erase the unfortunate public perception about the service as a corrupt institution.
That, he said, could be done through honesty and the strict enforcement of the law without fear or favour.
Citing the 2017 Afrobarometer report, which found that 92 per cent of respondents believed that “some, most or all” police officers were involved in corruption, President Akufo-Addo said the citizenry could only have confidence in the service when the personnel were seen to be honest and prepared to execute their mandate irrespective of who was involved.
President Akufo-Addo was addressing the 48th Cadet Officers graduating parade of the Ghana Police Service at the Police Training School in Accra yesterday.
The 135 cadet officers were later commissioned as Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs).
President Akufo-Addo described as unfortunate the fact that the police continued to suffer lower public image but expressed confidence in the current leadership’s determination to reverse the trend and urged the graduating class to assist in that endeavour.
The President said governments had term limits and in a multiparty democracy, political parties won and lost power and for that reason the police service should not tie its well-being or otherwise to the fortunes of the ruling party of the day.
President Akufo-Addo said the police service must be allowed to focus on its core mandate of protecting the citizens without interference from the powers that be.
He expressed the hope that the police would continue to have a healthy interaction with the community and also called on members of the public to cooperate with the police and offer them the necessary support for the discharge of their duties because, he said, when the two worked together, safety and security would be assured.
President Akufo-Addo stated that the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) pledge to sufficiently equip the police service to maintain law and order and protect lives and property was because the populace felt safer and went about their daily activities without any fear when it had the assurance of peace and safety.
He said the government was retooling the service, having given it 108 vehicles in December 2017, followed by 200 Toyota Camry vehicles two weeks ago and added that the construction of 320 housing units to ease the accommodation challenge of the service was progressing.
He added that the numerical strength of the service was being boosted with the recruitment of 4,000 personnel this year, while at the same time 795 senior officers and 16,620 junior rank promotions had been cleared since he assumed office.
President Akufo-Addo said the government was working to improve the professional competence and capacity of the police to deal with cybercrime and cyber security issues, while the marine unit of the service was also being resourced to work with the Ghana Navy to protect the country’s territorial waters.
The President gave an assurance that the accommodation and equipment needs of the service would be dealt with to enhance efficiency and morale.
The 135 graduating cadet officers comprised 108 men and 27 women who had been taken through six months of rigorous training to sharpen their professional skills. The President commissioned them into the senior officers corps of the Ghana Police Service and are expected to lead the ongoing transformational agenda with particular focus on making significant impact in their duties towards institutional excellence.
To show that they are mentally alert, physically fit and poised to discharge their professional duties, they put up a colourful display of brisk regimental marches to the admiration of the gathering, which included the Police Commissioner of South Africa, General Khehla John Sitole.
Their skilful drills, with the support of a 75-member escort contingent, made up of the Police Central Band and a mounted squadron, drew thunderous continuous applause from the crowd.
While the Police Band spiced the parade with melodious tunes, the display of six horses, aged between 18 and 25, made the parade formation spectacular.
Four of the cadet officers were rewarded for their distinguished performance during the course.
They are Mr Michael Bernard Adjei, who was named the best cadet for scoring 2,318 out of 2,700 marks, and Mr Senyo Nukpe, who was named the best marksman.
The award for the best in command and drill went to Mr Asare Quansah, while the commandant’s special award for organisation and leadership went to Mr Charles Adaba.