It is time to respect and protect the dignity of Junior Police Officers

Gh Police Police The Ghana Police

Wed, 2 Jan 2019 Source: Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III

Any attempt to transform the police service will fail if junior police officers are constantly intimidated, victimised and abused emotionally and psychologically by senior officers. The transformation is a failure if junior officers are constantly treated unfairly and disrespected.

The transformation agenda agenda must first of all address the culture of tyranny, suppression and oppression being perpetuated by some senior officers who still feel that the only way to remain powerful and fearful is to intimidate and victimise junior officers.

We are in a new age where junior police officers are equally knowledgeable and resourceful and, the only way to transform the police service is to ensure that senior officers sharpen junior officers and vice versa. The transformation agenda must put in place mechanisms and structures to address tyrannical and oppressive conduct towards junior police officers.

The transformation agenda must seek to build a relationship of mutual respect and trust between senior officers and junior officers. A relationship that naturally commands respect for senior officers who equally respect junior officers and not the kind of respect based on fear and intimidations.

Junior police officers are the faces of Ghana Police Service, the biggest security organisation in Ghana. They are interface between the police administration and the general public and so, the success and failures of the police service rest on them. It is however imperative to ensure that they are in the right frame of minds when discharging their duties.

They are the worker-bees or the work horses of the police service who work for day and night without rest to ensure that policing is effective and efficient. Some of them work for long hours continuously for years without going on leave. Even though every police officer is entitled to an annual vacation leave of 42 days in a year, most of them are denied leave under the guise that there are shortage of personnel. In event that they decide to grant leaves for them, their leave days are slashed into pieces.

They are the ones who die in of duties all the time. The very ones who sustain various degrees of injuries and become incapacitated in the course of discharging their duties. The sad aspects are that after being rendered incapacitated whilst discharging their duties, they are sometimes abandoned and left to fate to die in pains with passing moments.

They are the very ones who commit their lives to all the day and night patrols and guard duties. The very ones though not adequately resourced and properly protected but respond to all the robberies and violent criminal attacks on poor citizens.

The contributions of junior police officers to the peace and security of this country cannot be under estimated or be swept under the carpet. In a year, tens of police officers are killed and lot more are rendered incapacitated whilst discharging their duties. The whole threshold of the police service rests on the shoulders of junior police officers and there is no doubt about that.

They are the burdens of beast for the police service yet they are not recognised or credited for their hard works, sacrifices, commitments and dedications to policing. Despite all their efforts to keep the peace and security of this country, they are the ones who are mistreated, disrespected, abused, insulted, oppressed and suppressed by the very people who they work for them to take the glories and the credits.

No matter how hard junior officers work, the credit will still have to go to senior officers, some who do not even value and respect junior officers at all. No police commander or a senior officer has been successful without the support of junior officers but they soon forget what junior officers do for them to attain higher feats in their career as senior officers.

Junior police officers are the ones who perform all the risky and life threatening duties to maintain law and order in this country. The ones who put their lives on line to detect crimes and apprehend offenders yet they are the very ones who are disrespected, abused emotionally and psychologically.

In order for policing to be effective and efficient, junior police officers deserve to be respected by their senior officers in particular. Junior police officers have untold stories of mistreatments and unfair treatments which affect their commitments, sacrifices and dedications to duty, and it is time to address such concerns holistically else we are only washing the green surfaces as far as the pursuant of the transformation agenda is concerned.

Sometimes, how and manner some senior police officers publicly humiliate junior ranks working under them leaves a lot to be desired. The mistreatments junior police officers go through in the hands of some senior officers are unbearable, frustrating and suicidal in this our police service.

It is as if the junior police officers are more of animals than human beings. It is as if junior police officers are slaves or some kind of lesser beings. Some of these senior officers sometimes make you feel as if it is curse to be a junior officer. These senior officers publicly rain insults on junior police officers just for the public to know that indeed, they are the "Commanders". They try to do everything just to belittle junior officers in public just to satisfy their ego and pride.

To them, the mere fact that they are senior officers and others are junior officers, they consider themselves better human beings than others. This colonial legacy of mistreatments of the other ranks still abound in the police and these are the things that the transformation agenda should critically address by reorienting both senior and junior officers for them to understand that they are colleagues in different capacities.

For a very long time, the junior officers have remained the objects of abuse, bastardisation, threats vindictiveness and victimisations of all forms and shapes in the police service. Even though acts of tyrannical and oppressive conduct towards junior officers is a major offence in the CI 76 and the police service instructions -SI, day in and out, some senior officers always get away with it for being oppressive and tyrannical towards junior officers.

If your Commander or a senior officer is being oppressive and tyrannical towards you, you have no cause to complain. Whom are you going report to? What do you think will happen to that senior officer who is being oppressive and tyrannical towards junior officers? Nothing! You will have to endure it by yourself and pray that he goes on transfer.

To make the police service achieve its objectives of transformation, it is time senior officers show respect to junior officers. It is time for some senior officers to disabuse the mindsets of treating junior officers as lesser beings in the police service. It is time to reorient these senior officers for them to understand the need to protect the rights and dignity of junior officers serving under them.

To show respect to a junior ranks or officer does not mean that the senior officers should compromise their positions, condone and connive wrong doings in the police service. It does not mean that senior officers should allow the moral fabrics of discipline which is the hallmark of policing to be broken down. It does not mean that senior officers should stop to be effective and efficient in ensuring that high standards of disciplines are maintained. Far from that.

To show respect to a junior officers means that civilised treatments that should accord to the junior officers because they are also human beings in the police uniform just like them. To advance the police service to become a transformed organisation, tyrannical conducts of senior officers must be put to serious check. The old tradition of senior officers intimidating and victimising junior ranks must give way to a modernised police service where both senior and junior ranks who are team players and members complementing another's efforts.

In our bid to make the police service professional world class police organisation by 2020 per the vision of the transformation agenda, senior officers should begin to see junior officers as colleagues at workplaces who can complement their efforts in maintaining law and order as the constitution rightly says. We must shy away from the culture of policing where senior officers feel they have the right and entitlements to object of abuse, bastardisation, threats vindictiveness and victimisations in the police service.

That weird thinking that make some senior officers to think that they are better human beings must give way to a new police service where senior officers are oriented and reoriented to see junior officers as resources and not wastes or slaves.

The transformation bus being driven by the IGP is here. Let us all get on board. It is time to respect and protect the dignity of junior officers if indeed, we are committed and dedicated to transform the police service.

I am already on board the transformation bus.

Columnist: Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III