A group of police officers has boldly analysed the critical skills problems confronting the Ghana Police Service and called for a radical move to resolve them.
The call has come at a time the public is growing impatient with the infractions of operations of some policemen.
The omissions of those policemen have drawn public condemnation, which is apparently founded on good reasons.
The killings of innocent people from Taifa to Dansoman and now Kotobabi, all in Accra, have not augured well in the service's efforts to promote police-civilian relationship.
Indeed, those incidents have left a sour taste in the mouths of those who have come to appreciate the attempt being made to improve the co-operation between the service and the civilian public.
They also leave so many questions unanswered. For instance, how can anybody take a man with a dog in front of a house to be an armed robber and need be shot? Or why is it that the police did not shoot into the tyres of the Tico taxicab that was involved in the Dansoman episode to demobilise the car and deal with the situation?
Listen to the officers :“It has been realised that the expertise of weapon instructors has not been harnessed to motivate them. Weapon instruction at the basic level and even at the cadet level forms only five per cent of the total training period for trainees”.
And so there is “lack of basic practical police skills training at the recruit, intermediate and in-service levels.
Instead of communication skills and rescue techniques, which reinforce the core functions of protecting life and property, too much emphasis has been placed on areas such as parade and fatigue”.
Nobody could have told the story better than the group of officers. We know that the police have been trying to maintain public security so that people would be able to go about their normal duties without the morbid fear that they could be harmed.
There is every indication that the conditions of service of the police are not the best, even though the service has seen some remarkable improvement.
Consequently, while efforts are being made to improve upon the conditions of the police because they have been entrusted with our security, it is important that what is not going right should be rectified for the general good.
We concede that mistakes can occur but the frequency of those mistakes should indicate that there is something wrong.
Time and again, we have commended the police for their good efforts. It is true that the service is a human institution and occasionally something will go amiss.
When that happens it would be necessary to analyse the situation and see how best to eliminate the problem.
The officers have given adequate information which we have no cause to doubt and it is important that the administration listens to the concerns of the officers in good faith and address them appropriately for the good of our society.