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Editorial | Dec 16, 2017

Vetting Of Police Recruits Critical

By Daily Guide
IGP David Asante-Apeatu
IGP David Asante-Apeatu

These days it is no longer news to have cops arrested for leading armed robbery gangs, selling or hiring firearms to criminals.

When a cop is nabbed for being involved in armed robbery it is a painful matter to brood over because the law enforcement agency to which they belong, is critical in the law administration chain. Weak links, like bad cops, do not augur well for the image of the law enforcement institution in spite of the existence of many highly professional personalities within it. But for the overwhelming number of such good nuts in the Police Service, we would have just written it off.

We cannot do without a Police Service in spite of such occasional yet critical shortcomings as personified by the ilk of Cpl Raymond Amegashie who made negative headlines not for himself alone but the institution he represents.

When greed overwhelms people, it leads them to engage in such acts which are incompatible with the noble profession of policing they have sworn to be part of.

Raymond Amegashie was busted after the armed robbery operation he is said to have led was exposed. The cop is definitely going to join other colleagues of his in prison for similar offences.

One of the dangers of having law enforcement officers involving in such anomalies is that it makes it difficult for citizens to determine when a policeman is on an authorized duty or on a robbery mission.

The awesome powers of a police officer in uniform are so huge that such officers must be of exceptional moral standing. An officer without such an attribute can lie that the man he has shot resisted arrest and even sought to disarm him. Therein lies the importance of ensuring that cops are persons with a high sense of moral upbringing who would not only hire out their firearms to criminals but won't join gangs for robbery missions.

The arrest of Raymond and others in recent times is significant because thousands of Ghanaians have applied to join the Ghana Police Service where they hope to make a career.

It is gratifying that these young Ghanaian youth have showed such an interest in the Ghana Police Service. Some of these applicants might have genuine interest in becoming police officers but others are just turning their attention there for want of something to do as the unemployment challenge bites harder.

Those who seek to join the Police must show genuine interest in the law enforcement system otherwise they would soon discover that they are nut cut for it.

This is the time to ensure that all prospective recruits are adequately screened for criminal records and to ensure their moral eligibility.

Although we cannot vouch for a hundred percent success of screening, it is nonetheless better than not doing anything peeping into the closets of prospective recruits.

Those who fail this integrity test should not, under any circumstance, be recruited into the law enforcement agency. Cpl Raymond Amegashie and others have presented adequate reason for this recourse.

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