The Police Command in Plateau has begun screening of candidates for the recruitment of constables for community policing in the state.
The Federal Government had in January ordered the recruitment of 40,000 constables for community policing as part of efforts to check the prevailing security challenges in the country.
The screening exercise which has commenced in all the 17 local government areas of the state is being personally conducted by the various Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in the respective areas.
The screening, which iss opened to all citizens of between the ages of 21 and 50 years across the 17 local government areas of the state began in the early hours of Thursday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that community leaders were involved in the exercise in Mangu Local Government Area, but their counterparts in Pankshin Local Government Area alleged that they were not involved.
The DPO of Mangu Local Government Area, Mr Yakubu Balami, confirmed that, “all the candidates that are at this screening center were brought to us by community leaders who know their subjects better than politicians.”
In Pankshin, however, Nde Monday Gokum, the Acting District Head of Pankshin and Chairman Police Relations Community Committee (PCRC) in the area, while on a courtesy call on the Council Chairman, Mr John Damap, alleged that they were not involved in the exercise.
“We only woke this morning as community leaders and members of PCRC to discover that screening of candidates for the recruitment of Constables into the community policing has commenced already,” Gokum said.
Responding, Damap, also expressed surprise over the non involvement of the community leaders but called for calm and restraint.
The Chairman pledged to inquire from the police authority and the State Government about the situation.
But the DPO in Pankshin Local Government Area, Mr D.D. Ayuba, denied the allegation, insisting that information on the exercise was disseminated to all the District Heads in the area, which he said, brought about the influx of interested candidates including members of the vigilante.
The Chairman of Vigilante, Pankshin Branch, Mr M. Gokum, commended the federal government over the exerecise.
“I believe this is an opportunity opened to citizens especially the youths which will go along way in reducing crimes as well as keeping the peace in their communities,” Gokum said.
He said that the young personnel among the 1, 380 vigilante in Pankshin were glad to be part of the exercise.
Also,the State Commissioner for Information, Dan Manjang, commended the federal government over the community policing, saying the initiative would go a long way in checkmating the security challenges in the state.
“It is very commendable where the community leaders are involved but even where they are not, the police will ensure that the candidates present their indigenship certificate for easy identification,” Manjang said.