By Kingsley Omonobi
Against the backdrop of the planned implementation of the federal government’s community policing vision, the Police management team, led by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu and the DIGs, on Tuesday met with the Chairman and Commissioners of the Police Service Commission for several hours.
The meeting which held at the headquarters of the PSC at Federal Secretariat, brainstormed on the modalities for the employment of a total of 40, 000 personnel drawn from the 774 local government areas and the communities therein.
It was gathered that the meeting followed an unconfirmed communication which some states were brandishing as authorization to commence the recruitment of Police Constables for State Police Commands.
A senior source told Vanguard that while he cannot discountenanced that such communication exists, he is aware that many state Police Commands are not aware of such a directive including the Police Service Commission.
In driving the community policing vision, IGP Adamu had during a meeting with the Police hierarchy at Force headquarters recently emphasized that tackling the mounting insecurity in the country, grassroots policing is the way to go.
He said, “In order to give full effect to our Community Policing Vision as a pathway towards bridging security gaps, we shall soon commence the implementation of the strategy across all the zones of the country.
“Hopefully, the breakdown of the Community Policing deployment plan will cover the recruitment of a total of forty thousand (40,000) Community Police Officers (CPOs) across the country.
“The CPOs will be recruited from within the communities where the prospective applicants reside and an average of fifty (50) CPOs are to be engaged in each of the 774 Local Government Areas.
“In addition, one thousand (1,300) CPOs will be drawn from professional bodies like the academics, Road Transport Unions, Artisans, Traders Associations, Religious Bodies, Women Unions, and Youth Organisations among others in order to ensure diverse representation.
Continuing he said, “In relation to the South West, the CPOs shall be deployed to complement the Police in law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low-risk and non-sensitive policing functions.
“They will also act as liaisons between the Police and their communities.
“This policing architecture will free up conventional police personnel that hitherto perform such functions and enhance our manpower profile in relation to deployment to frontline operational duties in the South West and across the country.
“When fully implemented, the Community Policing Strategy will bridge the gap between the Police and the citizens in a manner that will enhance optimal, cost-effective, and sustainable law enforcement service delivery by the Police.
He explained that the Community Policing concept involves engagement of citizens in identifying and prioritizing prevalent communal security threats as the effect their localities and working together with the police towards developing and implementing solutions.
“In giving effect to this, we are drawing on the Provisions of the Police Act in relation to the recruitment and utilisation of Special Constables who in this instance, will be engaged as Community Policing Officers (CPOs) under the coordination of the Nigeria Police towards evolving a community-focused policing architecture,” he said.
Vanguard was told that a clear picture on how the 40, 000 Community Policing Officers will be issued after the meetings between the Police High Command and the Police Service Commission arrive at workable modalities.