Police must be protected with bulletproof vests – Okoe-Boye

Former Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, has called on the government to ensure the security of police personnel in the country by providing them with protective accoutrements like bulletproof vests and other requisite gears to enhance their safety in the line of duty.

He said as a country, the powers that be must make it a priority to secure adequate funding for the police force in order to make sure that every policeman who is deployed with a weapon to go on duty must be safeguarded with bulletproof and the relevant accoutrements to bring them back home safely.

Dr. Okoe-Boye made this call in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on the New Day show on TV3, Wednesday, June 16.

He was speaking on the back of the recent brazen attack on a bullion van by armed robbers in Adedenkpo near Jamestown in Accra, killing the police officer General Constable Emmanuel Osei and a trader Afua Badu and fleeing with the slain officer’s AK 47 rifle in the process.

“I think I want to join others to say that, as a country, whatever funds the police need, we must work to make sure that every policeman who steps out with a weapon gets a bulletproof vest. This one is a national call, all of us must come together. And you see that’s one thing we don’t do a lot in Africa but outside there can even be a private initiative like a trust where they go like: we are raising $10 million to give every policeman a vest. The point I’m making is that, there is a lot that we can do as citizens to support the police in this country”, he appealed.

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Dr. Okoe-Boye also called on the government to make sure that promotion of the police personnel is based on merit and output rather than any other consideration to ensure efficiency in their service to curbing crime in the country.

“Our police must be promoted or get incentives based on output. It appears in this country promotion is by default, how many years you have been around. I always give the example with Ledzokuku, whoever is the police commander, if there are ten reports or complaints of crime, once you say that solving 30% is what will guarantee the next promotion, you will go and meet a director who on his own will send his men to go after people to solve a problem. The way things are now, a policeman will be paid whether he looks at your case or not.

“I am not saying the police are significantly inadequate, the point I’m making is that when we start to restructure our HR policies and to reward people based on output, it will significantly change the game”, he charged.

On the question of the lack of gun registration and the seasonal appraisal of relicensing of firearms by the Interior Ministry to avoid stray guns getting into the hands of criminals, Dr. Okoe-Boye said “calling for monitoring and evaluation is well and good, there are two things we must know, is there such a mechanism in place? If there is, then it is possible that it is deficient, if there is not, then we can put one in place.These are the things we must work on”.

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By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana