Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Friday, commissioned 272 special constables drawn from the 17 local government areas of the state that were recently recruited and trained at Oji River Police College for community policing.
Recall that Gov Ugwuanyi, on July 9, 2020, inaugurated the 17-man Enugu State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SCPAC) under the chairmanship of the state police commissioner, with the chairman of the state traditional rulers’ council, HRH Igwe Amb Lawrence Agubuzu, as co-chairman.
THE WHISTLER reports that the community policing programme is an initiative of the Nigeria Police, and charged with the responsibility of deepening community approaches as well as confidence, trust and mutual respect between the police and the people in crisis management.
The governor, during the inauguration, said 16 of them were recruited from each local government area of the state and drawn from the existing neighbourhood watch associations and the Forest Guards.
The special constables would 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, the governor said.
According to him, “Our re-tooled Enugu State security architecture will facilitate their new roles. 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. I urge residents of the state to avail the newly inaugurated special constables their maximum support.”
The state commissioner of police, CP Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, in a speech, said the inauguration was a remarkable feat in the implementation of the community policing practice in Enugu State. He commended Gov Ugwuanyi for pioneering the new community policing model initiated by the IGP.
He therefore charged the 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 added that, “The 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.”
In their separate remarks, chairman and co-chairman of the Enugu State Community Policing Committee (SCPC), DCP Fred Ekokotu and HRH Igwe 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’.
The event was witnessed by the former minister of power, Prof Barth Nnaji; secretary to the state government, Prof Simon Uchenna Ortuanya; deputy chief of staff, Prof Malachy Okwueze; state chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rt Rev Emmanuel Edeh; chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, HRH Igwe Amb Lawrence Agubuzu, and Sarkin Hausawa, Enugu State, HRH Sarki Abubakar Yusuf Sambo.