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Opinions of Thursday, 4 August 2016

Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi, Kwaku

How prepared is Ghana Police Force for the inevitable?

Gone are the days when every country’s security officers were trained to apprehend suspects and perpetrators. These day and age, the new perpetrators move fast like a laser beam and they’re faceless.

Unfortunately, the new world’s socio-economic order has produced twenty-first century terrorists and criminals who are more sophisticated and deadly than ever. They can hit downtown Manhattan, USA and Burkina Faso or Paris and Nigeria, simultaneously with no sweat because they’re very mobile with modern networks and well -financed.

Now, there is no place to hide. Literally, the places we used to think of as safe: our homes, hotels, schools, churches, shopping malls, on air planes and trains, entertainment parlors and airports —have been violated with increasingly regularity. Personal security has changed remarkably. They have so many resources to use to help them find their next victims.

So we all need protection urgently because things are falling apart. In the light of that, most countries have now designed new elite police force—that is more advanced and well- trained—to prepare for the inevitable.

Yes, they’re preparing for an attack that is expected to hit their major towns and cities, airports, stadiums and places of worship sooner than later. In USA, every town or city has an elite police force and day after day these officers conduct exercises to help hone their skills and prepare the scenario of terrorists attack.

With that in mind, I’m tempted to ask whether or not the Ghanaian security forces have been left out in the cold on this one. And if we’re ready, are our theoretical elite police forces stationed only in the nation’s capital or……? I’m just wondering! With our accident prone-road network I wonder how long it will take an imaginary elite police force from say Kumasi, to rescue a hostage situation in a hotel somewhere in Akosombo.

With our ill-equipped and integrity- impaired police force how much does it know about hostage rescue situations and techniques, let alone to protect the innocent population? We don’t even have enough dogs in our arsenal to fight common crimes on the streets of Ghana.

Now, speaking of an elite police force, how will (the bad apples in) our police force maintain its life- style when the driverless cars hit Ghana? The self-driving vehicles are rapidly getting ready to hit on the highways in the united States, Japan, UK ,France and Germany very soon, but is our Police force prepared to embrace this new technology or we’re going to let it pass us by like a wind because of greed and self-interest?

Well, for the sake of those who have been vacationing in the caves in Afghanistan with the Talibans for the past decade, driverless cars are specially designed vehicles with sensors and GPs on board to give directions and control movements automatically.

Yes, there are other impediments to this technology; not to mention how to work it into our archaic legislation process. But that is just the small part of the issue. The major issue is it will put the Ghanaian police force out of ‘business’ permanently—no, I kid you not! The point is our police officers can’t get any money from a driverless vehicle since there will be no one in the driver’s seat of the car to talk to or demand “something” for nothing—oh Lord, have mercy!

Don’t laugh because this is a serious business—no pun intended! Oh yes, with the hiccups in our political corridors and the brouhaha about this issueless election campaign season, we need something to ponder on to anesthetize our pains and frustrations in this year’s election process. It’s amazing how every presidential candidate in this election season skates to pass the real issues of the day and leaves the average voter with an opened-jaw.

Anyway, once we’re on the police force I would like to know this: Since there is no in –service training programs for an average Ghanaian police officer after graduating from the Police Depot, is the force ready to protect and deliver us from all evils at this dangerous time when everyone is vulnerable?. This is something to give all of us some sleepless nights because when our law makers are not even secured none of us is safe.

I’m not trying to be paranoid here, but if we don’t design an elite police force in every district to prepare for the inevitable we will one day say, “if only we had been more careful and proactive”.

Until we meet again, stay blessed, educated and informed.