All officers of the police Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) across the country will now be armed in a new move by the Ghana Police Administration to ensure the protection of its personnel who have recently come under attack.
Five police officers have been killed in the last 30 days, something that has brought to the fore, the issue of safety of law enforcers in the country.
“From today, we will give MTTD officers weapons,” the Inspector General of Police, James Oppong-Boanuh, announced Thursday, indicating it was a directive from the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery.
He added that all police officers who go on ‘outside duties’ will also be armed with weapons, bullet proof vests and helmets to be able to “protect themselves whenever necessary because desperate situations call for desperate measures”.
The IGP announced this when he joined the Interior Minister Ambrose Dery and other senior police officers to visit the families of the two officers who were shot and killed Wednesday afternoon.
Sergeant Michael Dzamesi and Lance Corporal Mohammed Awal were on duty Wednesday afternoon when they were shot dead by some men in an unregistered vehicle at Buduburam near Kasoa in the Central Region.
The Police Administration, he said, “will change our policies to reflect the directive”.
With the new directive, Mr Dery wants the IGP to insist that “from now on…police on traffic duties should be armed. I will ask that you (IGP) insist and enforce that strictly.
“This will enable our men in uniform to effectively exercise their right of self-defence. It will also enable them as police on patrol, to fight violent crime,” Mr Dery said.
Meanwhile, a 10,000-ced bounty has been placed on the head of one of the persons who shot and killed the two police officers.
The two officers from the Kasoa Motor Traffic and Transport Department were said to be conducting road checks when they were shot at and killed by some four men in an unregistered vehicle.
The unregistered vehicle was signaled to stop as it approached the checkpoint but the driver failed to stop, causing the police to chase the vehicle.
According to the police in the Central Region, the assailants began shooting at the police vehicle at a point and in the process, the officers were hit. One died on the spot and the other died later at the Police Hospital in Accra.
Three persons were arrested few hours after the incident but the IGP who was visiting one of the deceased families in Kasoa Thursday said one of the suspects is currently on the run but said the Police were working to arrest him.
“Wherever he is, we will smoke him out to come and face the law,” he stated and announced anyone who provides credible information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect will be given 10,000 cedis.
Meanwhile, he has described the killing of the two as a coward act, indicating the incident will not dampen the spirit of the police officers in executing their mandate.
“This action will urge us on,” Mr Oppong-Boanuh stated.