General News of Friday, 12 October 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Police Standards Wane

STANDARDS IN the police service are waning at an alarming rate, some retired security personnel have stated in apparent reaction to the Ayalingo retirement debacle.

Speaking individually and on condition of anonymity they said they were at their wits’ end over why for instance retirement and contracts had become burning political issues in an internal security organization which should by all means be apolitical.

These anomalies coming close to elections according to the retirees, was not good for public confidence in the service and had the potential of lowering morale.

Personnel are currently watching to see what will happen after it emerged that some senior police officers were still at post in spite of reaching the retirement age.

Currently, there appears to be disquiet among personnel over the way the Police Council was handling retirement issues given the varying of the conditions that accompany it.

Under the Police Service Act, an officer who has reached the age of 60 is supposed to go on mandatory retirement but it appears Inspector-General of Police, Paul Tawiah Quaye is powerless to effect this as officers like Robert Adibura Ayalingo, Peter Alex Wiredu, Hamidu Mahama, all Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCOPs) are all still at post even though they have crossed the retirement age.

DAILY GUIDE sources say two other officers, DCOP Timothy Aquarnor Ashiley who is due to retire in November and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Alex Bedie due for retirement in December, were also most likely to remain in office.

Furthermore, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Richmond Nii Ashitey Lomo Boi-Bi-Boi believed to be the in-law of the IGP who was supposed to retire in July was given an appointment at the United Nations.

According to a DAILY GUIDE source, an officer who had reached the retirement age but had been contracted by the service was not supposed to wear uniform and was again, supposed to go down one notch in ranking but all the affected officers were still enjoying their portfolios.

To make matter worse, the retiring officers were the ones who had been given sensitive positions; one of them is even believed to be in charge of recruitment at the service.

Another issue affecting morale in the service is the way and manner ethnocentric considerations were robbing it of professionalism and discipline.

For instance at the Criminal Investigations Department, the top three commanders were from one region even though the source said “admittedly, there is no quota system in the service.”

“With a large pool of junior officers currently in the service, the rationale for extending the services of retiring officers has become questionable since it does not make room for elevation,” the source added.

“While senior officers like CDOPs Ofosu-Menash Gyeabuor and Seth Charles Oteng were forced out even before their terminal leave expired, their colleagues are still at post.”

Admission into the Police College too has not been spared the excessive politics which has permeated the police as some of these young men and women must be favored before they can gain admission. The outcome of the crisis meeting which greeted the BA meeting over Robert Ayalingo will determine whether professionalism can prevail over parochial politics in the police service.

A cynic remarked, “What special skills do officers like Robert Ayalingo and Hamidu Mahama have which others lack that they must be retained for Election 2012.”