Sanwo-Olu inaugurates community policing Advisory, State police committees

Following its determination to commence the implementation of community policing in Lagos State, the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has inaugurated the State Community Policing Committee and Community Policing Advisory Committee.

Community policing is the federal government initiative which the state governments are allowed to carry out and ensure its implementation.

The governor while inaugurating the committee at the State House, Alausa, Ikeja said the committees would be responsible for identifying officers that would be involve in the process as well as members of the community.

Speaking further, Sanwo-Olu stated that community policing would help stem criminal activities in our communities and would help the police get first hand information on crime scenes.

One of our responsibilities as government is to protect lives. Without security, there is no basis for economic activities. Every citizen has a role to play to ensure security.

Protecting lives would be difficult if the police are expected to do it alone. This inauguration is an important step.

After much talking, the reform has now come up. Roles of these committees are to identify officers for the community policing, identify threats in communities, advice on security issues and give feedback.

They are to maintain trust between the police and the community.

This inauguration is also our administrations strong belief in community policing and we want Lagos to be a model for other states.

It will take pressure from police and allow them concentrate on other things. We must all strive to make it work. It is my hope that we will begin to enjoy the dividends of this program and make Lagos a no go area for criminals, he said.

The governor also expressed sympathy to the family of a 17-yr old girl, Tina, who was recently shot by a police officer.

The Advisory committee is to be co-chaired by the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, and the Commissioner of Police. Other members are heads of security commands in the state, representatives of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Muslim communities in the state, representative of Lagos West and East senatorial districts.

The State Community Policing Committee comprises of representative of Commissioner of Police, representative of traditional leaders, representatives of Christian, Muslim, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, labour unions, National Youth Council, Lagos chapter; People Living with Disabilities, and Nigeria Bar Association (NBA).

In his comments at the inauguration, representative of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. David Folawiyo said increase in crime rates necessitated the fast tracking of the community policing program by the Federal government.

We have come to the crossroads where the police are not working with the community. The community policing is a participatory scheme.

One man cannot lead. This is a partnership between the police and the community. This is organisational transformation of the police and opportunity for innovation, he said.

He, however, said the scheme is different from the Amotekun security scheme recently formed by the South West states including Lagos.

Community Policing is a system. It is all encompassing. Amotekun belongs to the system so all security system comes under community policing, he said.

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, while thanking the governor said the scheme would bring communities and police together.

Recent upsurge in crime and disorder prompted the IG to implement the scheme. Community policing at the local government level and state has become imperative. It will help to effectively solve crime if the police work in partnership with communities, he said.

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