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Page added on June 20, 2012
Who trusts the credibility of the police when they are being recruited and given instruments of the force? Our police force is said to be totally corrupt but with second thoughts, I’ll opt for a partially corrupt police force because they’ve got some fine crops of police officers amongst them; though some of their few bad apples would still not want to shed their bad spots off.
Proper background scrutiny is a requirement that is often flouted by the recruitment party of the force. Many believe that recruitment is done without proper scrutiny.
Whilst on one hand there is this special category of applicants that are willing to compromise spends whatever it may cost to ensure their names are on the recruitment list.
The spate of armed robbery in the country has been a serious concern to every body including foreign nationals in the country; and calls were being intensified for the police to overhaul the security call from all sectors commanding the order of protection of their lives and properties.
When an armed robber was shot and killed at Tengbeh Town by a police officer sometime in May this year, all and sundry were pleased with the performance of the police because indeed the thief was in position of a pistol, when police took the remains away that morning. That’s a job well done!!
But on the other hand when innocent school children were mistook for armed robbers by the police due to lack of communication on a community policing exercise at Wellington that left the two young boys dead almost the entire nation went berserk, blaming and lambasting the police for a job badly done! And the bike rider that was shot in the back for bulldozing a police check-point at Adonkia is a job badly done!
Imagine a country without a police force then you will realize that the good work of the police force outweighs the bad work, like a drop of water in the ocean so when blaming and condemning our ill-equipped police force, do it in a very objective and rational manner with no sentiments attached. We are not supportive of police officers going around shooting indiscriminately at the people they are supposed to protect, what we are simply saying is that our police force is ill equip and for them to perform effectively we have to equip them with communication gadgets, enough vehicles with available fuel and to enact foot-patrol security system instead of patrolling on wheels because thieves targets residents that are situated at locations were vehicles cannot access, so a patrol team permanently on wheels is definitely a disadvantage. Distress or SOS calls to police hotlines at times could not be responded to, depending on the location or due to lack or shortage of fuel for their vehicles.
Apparently, a coroner’s inquest into the police killings is what was expected as the last resort but though welcomed by many is still not the solution to the nation’s present security status-quo. Government should immediately call on all security apparatus in the country i.e. the Office of National Security (ONS), the Sierra Leone Army, the Police, private security entities and all stake holders including community elders in a bid to hatch a security solution to this seeming epidemic. As community policing is still a good initiative, it’s advised that, this time around it should be properly organized to avert previous examples of the lack of communication between the police and the community people.
Watch that recruitment process of the police, to refrain from absorbing hard-core criminals into the police as they are the ones that are giving the police force a bad name today by involving into corrupt practices, armed robbery and killing of innocent civilians they are supposed to protect so get rid of these bad seeds and maintain the good seeds for a “Force for Good”.
Do you think the Disarmament Exercise succeeded in mustering ninety percent of arms and ammunitions from militias? That’s another issue!
By E. Awotelli-Cole
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