The Ghana Police Service has taken delivery of 4500 bulletproof vests for use by all patrol officers and fixed duty personnel to protect them on the job, Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) has said.
He said the protective gear had become crucial due to recent attacks on personnel by criminals.
“Having witnessed some attacks in recent times by criminals, the administration has decided that all patrol and fixed duty personnel be issued with bulletproof vest for their protection,” he announced at the opening of the 2019 National Police Command Conference at Sogakope in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region on Wednesday.
The IGP also revealed that the Service would train officers in counter-terrorism techniques for better protection of the citizenry.
He said with the upsurge in “serious” crimes such as kidnapping, terrorism, cyber fraud and money laundering, police visibility would be revived, and would deploy more personnel on the streets to help reduce crime.
“The Police Visibility initiative which gathered steam when it was launched and attracted positive feedback from the general public needs to be resuscitated to achieve its ultimate goal of crime reduction.
“The concept is being revamped to put many personnel on the streets to create public reassurance and reduce the fear of crime,” he stated.
The IGP also said with its commitment to its duty to guarantee the civil liberties of citizens, the Service would “deal decisively” with persons or group of persons that engage in vigilantism.
Mr Oppong-Boanuh said the 18 months post-training programme for newly passed out constables would be observed to effectively build the capacity of personnel and added that the Police administration would ensure unethical conducts did not dent the image of the institution.
The IGP commended Government for the continuous support, and mentioned that the Police administration had constituted a committee to “oversee” the “equitable distribution” of resources of the Service.
The three-day conference is on the theme, “Strengthening Discipline and Supervision for Effective Crime Control”.
Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister for Interior, opening the conference, said Government maintained faith in the Service, and would continue to provide protective gear and needed logistics, and asked that personnel be trained to effectively work with them.
“Some personnel don’t feel comfortable wearing the bulletproof vests … we need to train them to be comfortable in them,” he said.
The Minister said Government had committed to resourcing the Service beyond its budget allocation and had initiated residential and office accommodation projects in addition to the provision of vehicles and communication equipment for effective policing.
He also emphasised that the welfare of personnel remained Government’s priority, having cleared the backlog of promotions, and providing compensation packages for officers who fell in the line of duty.
Mr Dery appealed to citizens to offer credible information on criminals to the Police to help provide a safe environment for all.