Thirty-five District Police Commanders countrywide have begun a one-week course to update their skills in modern trends of policing.
They are studing topics such as alternative dispute resolution, victim-offender mediation, social cohesion, democratic policing and client care, among others.
Under a one year-project labelled ‘Citizen-Friendly Policing Project,’ being sponsored by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, a German political organisation, there would be series of monthly courses for police commanders to get them move away from “a reactive to a responsive kind of policing which promote mediation and instead of ligation.”
Opening the programme in Accra last Friday, the Inspector General of Police, Paul Tawiah Quaye, advised police officers to be impartial before, during and after the 2012 general elections.
“You must maintain a high sense of integrity and professionalism in order not to bring yourself and the Police Administration into disrepute,” he told the officers, adding that the Police Administration would not shield any officer who dragged the name of the service in the mud.
Mr. Quaye encouraged the officers to discharge their duty without fear or favour and deal firmly with any individual or group of people who would disturb the electoral process.
Briefing the media on the course, the Coordinator of the Project, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ASP) Peter Toobu, said it formed part of strategies to re-orient police officers to be more responsive, friendly and accountable to the citizens.
ASP Toobu said the police service was promoting a new paradigm of policing different from the system under military regimes.
He said the system of policing before 1992 could not be applied today, stressing that in a democratic dispensation, the country needed police officers who were open and friendly to the general public.
Of particular interest to the Police Administration, he said was mediation to resolve petty cases, such an accommodation problem between a tenant and a landlord, which continued to be reported to the police instead of to the relevant agents.
That system of policing, he said, prolonged conflicts between complainants and suspects and did not build cohesion in society.
The Commandant of the Police College, DCOP Akuribah Yaagy, said the course was to “remind the commanders of their roles during and after the 2012 general elections.”
He said it was also to refresh their minds on the Public Order Act 491, outlining the rules to be followed in the organisation of public events such as demonstrations.
DCOP Yaagy advised the public and the political parties to abide by the Act in their campaigns and political activities to ensure peace.
The Programmes Officer of Hanns Seidel Foundation, Samuel M. Dayi, said one of the core programmes of the organisation was supporting projects which would promote peace in the country.
He said in the current global village, whatever affected one country could have equal repercussions on the other, adding that if peace prevailed in Ghana, it would have impact on other countries as well.