In a bid to improve the security of lives and properties of residents of Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, and its environs, the state Police Command on Thursday inaugurated the Community Policing Advisory Committee in various Police divisions in the council area.
The Advisory Committees were for Ekeki, Azikoro, Yenagoa, Akenfa, Igbogene, Agudama/Ekpetiama, and Biseni Divisions.
Mr. Mike Okoli, state Police Commissioner, speaking at the event held at the Council Secretariat in Yenagoa, charged members of the Committee to discharge their duties diligently by choosing persons with character in the forthcoming recruitment of Special Constables.
He said: ‘The essence of the inauguration is to enable members of the Committee to screen special constables to be recruited for community policing. My charge to you as members of these committees at the divisional levels is to ensure that those you nominate are people with exemplary character and integrity. People who can ensure that they participate with the regular police in rooting out crime and criminality in their communities.”
He stressed that the constables who will be recruited would not be armed but give information to the regular police with powers to arrest suspected criminals whom they should hand over to the police stations in their various localities.
The Commissioner of Police said the essence of setting up the Advisory Committees is to enhance effective and efficient policing at the community level.
‘That is the whole essence, community policing. It is taking policing to the doorsteps of the people. The people themselves will participate in securing their environment. They will now know those policing them because those you have screened and nominated, you know them. You can attest to their integrity and character. So the importance is the people will now be very very free with the people they have nominated to participate in community policing’, the CP emphasized.
Mr. Okoli said the following the inauguration of the State Community Policing Advisory Committee by the Governor, the same committees at the Divisional area command level had to come on stream.
In a remark, the Chairman of Yenagoa Local Government Area Council, Mr. Uropaye Nimizoua pledged to support all efforts to maintain peace in the area by constantly consulting and engaging critical stakeholders in the communities.
‘As the Chief Security Officer of Yenagoa Local Government, I will not play politics with the security and lives of the people of the Area. Security is very important in every community so even at the clan level who are those that will take the information to us to act if we don’t involve the paramount rulers, CDC Chairmen as well as youth and women leaders’, the Yenagoa Chairman asked.