Editor's Comment

Police training to restore confidence

CONTINUOUS learning is important for any individual, given the fact that the world we live in is dynamic.
Every so often, there are innovations while the way of doing things keeps changing. One can only ignore the need to have the capacity to cope with the change at their own peril.
It is in an environment like this one where the need to adapt to change by building capacity becomes paramount so that staff or those who are responsible for delivering a required service are not left behind.
The police service, in keeping with the changing environment, plans to train 3,000 officers in various courses to instil professionalism and discipline in them.
According to Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja, the service is focussing on building capacity in the officers to enable them to build cordial relations with members of the public.
We cannot overemphasise the importance of the police in our communities. We need them all the time in view of the rising levels of crime.
In the job of the police, it is inevitable to avoid coming into contact with the people. They are there to serve the people.
However, a number of times, members of the community have complained about poor service they have received from the police when they report a crime.
It is not uncommon to hear instances of some police officers demanding a complainant to make some payment so that their case can be attended to speedily.
In some instances, some police officers would claim they have no transport to follow up a case and the complainant has to facilitate movement of some officers so that a case is investigated.
Apart from this, times without number, we have come across reports of police officers involved in various crimes, some heinous.
It is not an understatement to say that corruption is another vice that is closely associated with some police officers.
It is vices like these that have eroded professionalism and discipline in our police officers.
Because of this, the perception of the police ranks low when the scores are made on the scale of members of the public.
During the height of the cholera outbreak, Government used soldiers to patrol the streets to keep vendors away because the police had failed to live up to their mandate.
We want to state that not all police officers are viewed in bad light. We are aware of some officers who are doing their work to the satisfaction of members of the public and we commend them, though they are few.
It is the bad police officers who make the name of the police service leave a sour taste in the mouth, a situation which can only be described as a sad development against those who are supposed to protect our communities.
Given the responsibility of maintaining law and order that lies squarely on the shoulders of the police, the plans to bring back professionalism and rebuild the name of the police are more than welcome.
Members of the public want to see a police service that promptly responds to their needs as it fulfils its mandate of maintaining law and order.
A professional police service is devoid of allegations of corruption. It responds quickly to complaints by members of the public and attends to cases with a confidence that makes members of the public always seek their services.
At the conclusion of the training programme, members of the public will be waiting to see a police service that attends to complaints by members of the public with a smile and not with a countenance that instils fear in those it is serving.
We hope the training will help the officers shed off the negative perception and build up solid confidence in members of the public.

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