Since Nana Akuffo Addo Dankwa Addo won the presidential election, there has been some kind of uneasiness and uncertainties in the police service. I guess the same applies to all the security services because it is expected that he makes some major appointments in all security services per his constitutional mandate especially heads of these security services.
For the police service, he will appoint the IGP when he finally settles in office after 7th January 2017, when he is sworn before parliament and inaugurated. His regime starts with immediate effect and that will answer the political question about who becomes the next IGP. The policing question of who becomes the next IGP will be justified when the conditions of the ordinary police officer begins to improve going forward into 2017 and beyond.
Immediately Nana Akuffo Addo Dankwa Addo is sworn into office, a new police council will be constituted and a new police administration will be put in place to be headed by the new IGP to steer the affairs of the police service. As to whether the Ghana Police Service will have a fair share of all his political promises and message of change will largely depends on the yet to be appointed IGP.
As to who becomes the next IGP, several top names of members Police Management Board (POMAB) are widely rumoured both in police and political circles so we at least have fair ideas about who becomes the next IGP. They are all fine gentlemen who have served the police service and mother Ghana in diverse ways. As to whether they will become an IGP who will bring a total transformation that the police service currently needs is another question.
The question who becomes the next IGP is a weighty one but not about personality but rather that of capabilities to drive the police service to a higher pedestal than its current state. It is expected that the new IGP will bring transformations and reformations that will lead to a total paradigm shift in the the police service.
This time around we do not expect a police administration headed by an IGP that wants us to sacrifice everything including our lives to perform police duties by hook or crook but rather a more responsible police administration which fulfils the constitutional mandate of "equipping and maintaining the police" first. The police officer should be well equipped and maintained first before any other duty.
It is expected that the next IGP who comes to office and his administration be in position to provide basic requirements like name tags and ranks for personnel who are promoted to their next ranks immediately they are promoted. Every day personnel are harassed by PIPS and other monitoring teams in the police for not putting name tags and ranks but the police administration itself should check per their records the last time they issued name tags and ranks to personnel particularly those of Coporal ranks and below.
It is also expected that this time around, provision for uniforms and boots would be on regular basis but not in "tots" and "in a while situations" we have had sometimes passed. We are in tropical Africa where the weather conditions here are very harsh so uniforms fades quickly and boots destroy in on time. If possible every quarter or semi annually, the police officer should be provided with new set of uniforms and boots but the situation when personnel are supplied with uniforms and boots as the administration likes is a bit worrying hence the reasons why a lot of personnel have all sort of unprescribed uniforms in the system. It is not about different types of uniforms but even if it is one uniform, it must be regularly supplied.
Another headache is accommodation. The problem of accommodation in the police service is increasingly becoming a chronic one. In this 21st century, we are still housed like when Captain Glover started police in the Gold Coast. One police officer, one cubicle with all your belongings in it. If you are lucky to have a fridge, you will have to put it outside together with other belongings. It's sad! The most worrying aspect is the rate at which personnel of the service are renting outside the barracks. This a threat to the security of the personnel if we do not treat this chronic accommodation problems earliest. We will one day experience attacks on our personnel if things remain like this.
We can also talk about evenly distributions of our human resources across the country as well as logistics. The problem of two or three people manning a whole police stations particularly in remote areas and villages should be solved once and for all. Situation where there seems to have over concentrated personnel at some stations and offices should be addressed to solve chronic shortages at some stations and offices which is leading to overworking among some personnel. Distribution of service vehicles and other logistics that enhance efficient policing should also be properly addressed.
Of course probably the biggest problem and threat to all police officers particularly we the junior ranks, killings of police officers by armed robbers and other hardened criminals. This IGP should be one who has strategic plans and solutions to reduce the rate at which police officers are killed in line with duties. A strategic solution and plans from the station levels to the national levels that makes the police officer confident and comfortable to combat crimes without fear.
In 2017, it is expected that a police officer well equipped and maintained from the the head to toe before being forced to go to duties whether rain or shine. The police service shall be equipped and maintained to perform its traditional role of maintaining law and order and that is what the constitution says so the administration should abide by it first.
Let's always remember that that in 2017, the police shall be equipped and maintained first before any other thing. It's very instructional and very binding on the police administration to discharge its constitutional mandate of equipping and maintaining the police officer first, before forcing them to go on duties.
It's 2017 and change has come under Nana Akuffo Addo Dankwa Addo but we live to see its true reflections on the police. It's indeed a big political and policing questions about who really becomes the next IGP.
I wish Nana Akuffo Addo Dankwa Addo well as he appoints an IGP to bring change to the police service because we really need it.