The Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu says the Force will recruit 40,000 community policing officers (CPOs) to boost security nationwide.
The CPOs are expected to bridge the gap between the Force and members of the public, Adamu said.
The IGP, who attributed the number of arrests the police made in the last seven months to the cordial relationship between the force and community members, added that the implementation of the community policing concept was imperative.
For effective implementation, Adamu said: “We are drawing on the provisions of the Police Act in relation to the recruitment and utilisation of Special Constables who will be engaged as Community Policing Officers (CPOs) under the coordination of the Nigeria Police towards evolving a community-focused policing architecture.”
Speaking in Abuja at the monthly meeting of the IGP with other senior police officers, Adamu also said the relationship between the police and members of the public in the last seven months had resulted in the arrest of 4,187 suspected criminals.
The IGP also said the highest number of rescued victims were from Zamfara State.
Highlighting how the CPO concept would be implemented, Adamu said: “The breakdown of the community policing deployment plan covers the recruitment of 40,000 CPOs across the country in the interim.
“The CPOs will be recruited from within the communities where the prospective applicants reside and about 50 CPOs are to be engaged in each of the 774 local government areas.
“In addition, 1,300 CPOs will be drawn from professional bodies, like the academics, road transport unions, artisans, traders’ associations, religious bodies, women’s unions and youth organisations, among others, to ensure diverse representation.”
He added: “The CPOs shall be deployed to complement the police in law enforcement functions within their localities by performing low-risk and non-sensitive duties. They will also act as liaisons between the police and their communities.
“This policing architecture will free up conventional police personnel that hitherto performed such functions and enhance our manpower profile in relation to deployment to frontline, operational duties. When fully implemented, the Community Policing Strategy will bridge the gap between the police and the citizens in a manner that will enhance optimal, cost-effective, and sustainable law enforcement service delivery by the police.”
On how the relationship between the police and members of the public has yielded result, Adamu said: “From January till date, 4,187 high profile suspects have been arrested nationwide. These include 1,629 armed robbery suspects, 1,053 suspected kidnappers, 1,023 cultists and 482 murder suspects.”
He said the police recovered 1,181 firearms of various descriptions and calibre, including Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and rocket launchers across the country within the same period.
According to him, 389 stolen vehicles were also recovered from criminal elements.
Adamu said 506 kidnapped victims were safely rescued, adding: “It is pertinent to mention that of the rescued victims, 300 were secured in Zamfara State alone with 249 of this number rescued between July 9 and 23 from bandits and militias operating in the forests in and around Zamfara State.
“The foregoing achievements are indicative of the fact that the trust gap between the police and the citizens has been narrowed such that the communities are now demonstrating impressive commitment towards partnering the police in presenting a common front against criminal elements.”
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