In its simplest definition, Community Policing is an organized partnership between law enforcement and residents of a Community. Community Policing is generally referred to as a law enforcement philosophy that allows officers to continuously operate in the same area in order to create a stronger bond with the citizens living and working in that area. It is a security philosophy which encourages familiarity with the environment and cordial relationship
with the people to be protected.
According to the grandnorm of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , section 14 ( 2) to be precise, “Security and Welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of Government” . This constitutional provision places Security over and above all other Subjects in the governance of the people. Practically, everything else in governance depends on Security of lives and properties of the citizenry.
In Enugu State, there are abundancy of proof to buttress the fact that Governor Ugwuanyi’s outstanding Security initiatives and commitments has transcended the conventional Policing method and hence metamorphosed into Community Policing – prevention-focused policing model .
The Governor on many fronts has demonstrated unprecedented investment in the protection of lives and properties thereby positioned Enugu State as the safest place in Nigeria to live, do business, work and build homes.
Piloting Community Police.
The solution to crime is rooted in crime prevention and the prevention of problems conducive to criminal behavior.
According to the Security Chief of Enugu State, His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the end goal of prevention and community policing is an improved quality of life for the Communities and Neighborhoods. With this great mind set, the Governor have taken proactive steps to keep Enugu State Safer. These uncommon steps includes:
(1) Establishment and recruitment of Forest Guards in the 17 LGA of Enugu State to encourage Community participation in security of lives and farmlands.
(2) Purchase of security patrol vehicles to ensure that 478 autonomous communities in the state are secured.
(3) Training and standardizing the Neighborhood Watch Groups in Enugu State.
(4) Routine Support to all security agencies in Enugu State.
(5) Involvement and hiring of Security experts such as former Inspector General of Police, IGP ogbonna onovo and other stakeholders for effective Security.
(6) Pioneering Regional Security efforts in the South East.
(7) Strengthening the role of Traditional Rulers and Town Union Presidents – Community participation in Security.
(8) Appointment and Inauguration of seventeen (17) members to the State Community Policing Advisory Committee (SPAC) to ensure a successful implementation of Community Policing in the state.
Prevention – Focused Community Policing
Sir Robert Peel’s Nine Principles of Policing called out PREVENTION as the foundation of law enforcement in 1829. Since then, policing has evolved through various models, including the current community-oriented policing model adopted in the mid-1980s.
Community policing is an organizational philosophy that must be embraced from the top-down and the bottom-up. It is a true understanding that the police cannot do it alone and must build partnerships with the community to solve community problems. Crime is a community problem, not just a police problem.
The Enugu State Governor have created the needed platforms for partnerships – with the State Community Policing Advisory Committee ( SPAC) , led by the State Commissioner of Police, Enugu State is set for a more Standardized and effective Community Policing that is modeled for Crime Prevention.
Building Public Trust in Policing
Using a Prevention- Focused policing model, the following are seven steps to building Public Trust in Community Policing :
- Make Prevention the focus of police operations.
- Develop Law enforcement Staff.
- Foster a servant – guidian mentality in officers.
- Make quality of life the end game.
- Promote an officer – safety mind-set.
- Adopt “best practices” in policing.
- Embrace smart Policing initiatives.
It is imperative to observe that Law enforcement agencies embracing a servant leadership philosophy have been successful in building the mind-set of their officers to be servant-guardians, an approach that can greatly enhance public trust by instilling service above self and the protection of others as a mission.
According to His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, quality of life must be the end game and ultimate goal for local law enforcement.
When citizens feel safe where they live, work, and play, they put more value in their local community policing. No doubt, businesses and people move to communities that have a great quality of life. Economic vitality equals jobs, and jobs reduce poverty-related issues ( Crime).
Considering the composition of the Enugu State Community Policing Advisory Committee, the people of Enugu State are hereby encouraged to partner with the Government to keep our Communities and Neighborhoods Safe and Secured.
Enugu State Is In The Hands Of God
Henry Nnanna Okeke, Esq.
Special Assistant to the Governor of Enugu State.