The Nigeria Police Force on Tuesday inaugurated and deployed 1,250 special constables to boost community policing in Lagos State.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, while speaking during the passing-out ceremony of the Special Constabulary Police in Ikeja, urged the officers to operate within the specific guidelines which had been given to them.
The governor, who was represented by the Chief of Staff, Mr Tayo Ayinde, said that the special constabulary police had been designed and constituted to improve on the existing security architecture and make it more effective.
He stressed that the major responsibility of the special constables was to support the operations of the police command via the provision of credible and timely intelligence on people’s activities in communities.
According to him, these activities may result in perpetration of crime and threat to the safety of lives and property; hence, the need to tame such activities.
“The issue of security and safety of lives and property has been a major source of concern, which requires deliberate and urgent attention by the government and the cooperation of all citizens.
“To address this challenge, there is a national consensus on the need to embrace community policing, identified as a potent strategy that will complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police in combating crime and criminal activities.
“Today, major progress has been made toward making this initiative a reality.
“The passing out parade of 1,250 Special Constabulary officers, who have undergone series of training specially designed to equip them with the skills required for the job, is an indication of the commitment of the government to this initiative,’’ he said.
Sanwo-Olu pledged that the officers’ welfare would be accorded priority attention, while everything they needed to carry out their assignment most efficiently and effectively would be provided.
“Let me also appeal to all Lagosians, especially community leaders and associations, to support this initiative by cooperating with these officers.
“They are no strangers but people that are known to you within your community.
“Let us, therefore, embrace this initiative to improve security and safety of lives and property, within our various communities,’’ Sanwo-Olu added.
The Commandant of Police College, Ikeja, AIG Olasupo Ajani, urged the graduating officers to perform their job of providing security diligently and professionally.
Ajani urged them to also eschew any form of illegal duty in its entirety.
According to him, the bedrock of police duty is discipline and the best discipline is self-discipline.
“You are expected to be a link and to build a good relationship between the police and the general public.
“As you might have known, you, as Community Policing Officers, are very strong stakeholders in maintaining law and order and the protection of lives and property.
“Lastly, you are warned not to wear any other police uniform except the black uniform issued to you.
“For emphasis sake, do not wear blue or the camouflage uniform of the conventional police officers,’’ he warned.