The Ghana Police Service has initiated a monthly Regional Police Commanders Parade as part of efforts to instill discipline in personnel and to keep them physically fit and combat ready for any eventuality.
It offers another window of opportunity for Regional Commanders to educate personnel of their routine duties to help check excesses, which mar the good name and image of the police.
The parades, a novelty of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Paul Quaye, are to be held once every month in all the ten regions of the country.
Addressing, the maiden parade of 90 men under the command of Assistant Superintendent of Police, Mr. George Bawa, the Upper West Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, (ACP) Mr. Alex Bedie commended the police personnel for their smartness.
Mr. Bedie told the police officers to be guided by the code of ethics of the service and work within the confines of the law to win the confidence of the public to enhance their duty of maintaining peace, law and order.
He said the number of cases successfully prosecuted in court, would not be the yardstick to measure the achievement of the police but rather how the police, have used their ingenuity and alertness to prevent crime.
Mr. Bedie explained that the monthly parade would now form part of the activities of the police and urged officers and men to reposition themselves towards the exercise.
In another development the lack of separate facility to serve as Regional Police Headquarters in the Upper West Region is a major challenge facing the Ghana Police Service in the Upper West Region, says Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Alex Bedie.
According to Mr. Bedie the Upper West Region is the only region in the country without a Regional Police Headquarters, a situation he said that did not augur well for effective and efficient policing.
The current structure housing the Regional Police Personnel is meant to house a District Headquarters but now houses both the Regional Headquarters as well as the Wa Municipal Headquarters of the Police.
The Regional Police Commander stated these when he addressed an annual get-together dubbed “WASSA” for police personnel here last Friday.
It brought together both officers and junior ranks of the Service to interact freely, take stock of their achievements and failures and to map out strategies on the way forward.
Mr. Bedie said that as many as 15 investigators are housed in one office and called for something drastic to be done about the office accommodation problem facing the police in the region.
“Office accommodation is nothing to write home about. The present structures for the Regional Police Command are woefully inadequate to accommodate the present demand of the personnel in the region. Personnel are crammed in very small office spaces.” He stated.
He said the story was no different in terms of residential accommodation for police personnel in the region and the little said about it, the better.
Another area of concern raised by the Regional Police Commander was the lack of a Police Clinic to cater for the health needs of police officers.
He explained that though a house had been secured for the purpose, it was not being put into use because there were no clinical staff to run the clinic.
Mr. Bedie therefore appealed to the government to, as a matter of urgency, address these challenges facing the police to enable them play their role of maintaining law and order more effectively and efficiently.
He said these challenges notwithstanding; the Police were up to its task of maintaining law and order, which culminated in the region enjoying relative peace last year.
Mr. Bedie said he and his men would not allow the challenges to affect their operations rather, they have resolved to work harder to chalk more successes this year.
The Upper West Regional Minister, Mr. Mahmud Khalid said the government was committed to addressing the needs of the Ghana Police Service to enable it deliver on its mandate of maintaining peace, law and order in society to enhance growth and development.
He urged the police to exercise restraint while the needed resources were mobilized to address their infrastructural and logistical challenges.
Mr. Khalid commended the police for putting of their best in the maintenance of law and order despite the numerous challenges facing them.
He urged police personnel to, at all times, place the interest of the state above their personnel and parochial interest and considerations.
“Work hard to sustain Ghana’s democracy through effective and efficient policing.
“Work towards promoting harmony and peaceful co-existence between the police and the people,” he advised personnel of the Ghana Police Service.