Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on Friday, inaugurated the 272 Special Constables from the 17 local government areas, recently recruited and trained at Oji River Police College, for Community Policing in the state.
It would be recalled that Gov. Ugwuanyi, on July 9, 2020, inaugurated the 17-man Enugu State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC), under the Chairmanship of the State Commissioner of Police with the Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers’ Council, HRH, Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, as co-chairman.
The novel Community Policing programme, which is an initiative of the Nigeria Police Force, as communicated by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu Abubakar, is saddled with the responsibility of deepening community approach as well as confidence, trust and mutual respect between the Police and the people, in the management of crimes and criminalities.
Inaugurating the 272 Special Constables, also known as Community Policing Officers (CPOs), at the Government House, Enugu, Gov. Ugwuanyi explained that 16 of them were recruited from each local government area of the state and drawn from the existing Neighborhood Watch Associations and Forest Guards.
The governor disclosed that the Special Constables will be deployed to their wards and local government areas to assist the extant security apparatus in gathering and sharing of intelligence with the security agencies as well as maintain liaison between their communities and the Police.
Gov. Ugwuanyi who pointed out that “our rejigged and re-tooled Enugu State Security Architecture will facilitate their new role”, congratulated the leadership and members of the SCPAC, saddled with the responsibilities of overseeing and coordinating the implementation of Community Policing in the state, for the self-evident progress they have recorded.
The governor said that the state government will continue to provide the necessary support for Community Policing in the state “in furtherance of its unflinching commitment to the protection of lives and property of all law-abiding residents in Enugu State”.
He therefore urged all residents of the state to avail the newly inaugurated Special Constables their maximum support and co-operation.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of SCPAC and State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, stated that the inauguration was a remarkable feat in the implementation of Community Policing practice in Enugu State.
CP Aliyu commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for pioneering and making the new Community Policing Model initiated by the Inspector-General of Police, a reality in the state.
The CP charged the trained Community Police Officers (CPOs) to be professional and abide by the stipulated guidelines in their duties of information/intelligence-gathering and apprehending of criminals and other law offenders in their various localities.
The CP added that the CPOs are also to, under the supervision of the Divisional Community Policing Committees, detect crimes; settle low-level civil disputes and petty crimes; complement the conventional Police in the patrol of the public spaces within their local communities; sensitize, reassure and advise the public safety, crime prevention and security tips, and deal with minor offences and social vices.
He further added that Special Constables are to equally “work with the community, schools and young people, business communities, religious bodies, cultural groups, Community-based Associations, recreational centres and hospitality businesses towards crime control, and assist in traffic management and school safety duties”.
Also in their separate remarks, the Chairman and Co-chairman of the Enugu State Community Policing Committee (SCPC), DCP Fred Ekokotu and HRH Igwe (Dr.) Emma Ugwu, respectively, applauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for his consistent support and commitment to security issues in the state, stressing that the 272 trained Special Constables are combatant ready to assist the state, their communities and the general public to combat crimes with the Police.
Other dignitaries that witnessed the event were the former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Prof. Malachy Okwueze, the State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Edeh, the Chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, Sarkin Hausawa Enugu State, HRH Sarki Abubakar Yusuf Sambo, and the Council Chairmen led by the State Chairman and National Publicity Secretary of ALGON, Hon. Solomon Onah, among others.