The popular saying goes, ‘new king, new law,’ and that seems to have exactly been what the current Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, has been doing since he took over the helm of affairs.
And even long before he was confirmed as the head of the Ghana Police Service, the youngest IGP in Ghana’s 4th Republic had already started major reforms; reforms that have endeared him to a lot of people.
If Dampare’s administration isn’t arresting a recalcitrant person, Dampare’s administration will be ensuring that crime is being tackled, and that has been the mantra for the last few months.
Dog patrol initiative
In October this year, the Ghana Police Service launched a dog patrol initiative in the country’s capital, Accra.
The initiative, under the K-9 Unit of the Service, will see personnel with highly-trained security dogs under leash strategically positioned for operational patrols.
The police announced that this innovative exercise is “aimed at increasing the visibility of personnel, improving intelligence gathering, tracking of contraband goods and improving upon other aspects of criminal investigations.”
Horse Patrol Operations
Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, while in an acting capacity as the IGP, launched the Horse Patrol Operations in Accra to assist in battling crime in Ghana, on August 12, 2021.
The patrol, which is part of the Ghana Police Service’s method of crime prevention and detection, will provide security in a friendly and interactive manner, with officers on horseback, to augment other patrol duties such as Community Foot Patrol, Motorbike Patrol, Visibility Patrol, and recently deployed Motorcycle Traffic Management and Mobility Teams in Tema and Accra, among others in our communities.
Shuttle Service for police
In mid-October this year, a shuttle service for personnel of the Ghana Police Service was introduced as an intervention that is meant to facilitate the movement of personnel to and from their places of residence to various duty posts.
The programme, which has been implemented in 15 of the 18 police operational regions, is intended to ease the burden on officers who commute to duty, as well as ensure that personnel who carry weapons for duty, do so under safe conditions.
One other thing that the public has been excited about since Dr. George Akuffo Dampare took over the police service is the fact that the Service’s communication unit has been up to date.
With its acting Director-General of Public Affairs, ACP Kwesi Ofori, the police have shown that they can be on top of issues with regards to the communication on the details of specific cases, to the public.
The social media accounts of the Ghana Police Service are a testament to this and it is one thing the public has been so encouraged by.
In more than an instance, the new IGP has paid working surprise visits to some night patrol spots in parts of the country as a way of motivation to the officers there.
For instance, in the late part of August this year, at 2:00 am, the IGP, together with some members of the Police Management Board (POMAB), arrived at Mallam Junction and McCarthy Hill to monitor the operations of some police officers on night duty.
He continued to Weija at 2:43 am and left Kaneshie at 3:20 am.
COP Dampare and the team also briefly visited the Accra Regional Police Command at 3:30 am and then moved to the Police Hospital at 3:55 am.
This followed previous visits made by the team to some police to assess the work of personnel as well as interact with some motorists.
No Police Dispatch
It would have been expected that being the IGP, Dr. George Dampare would be moving around with a dispatch rider, just like other high-ranking personalities.
That, however, has not been the case as the IGP has chosen to appear even more ordinary while in such a high office.
On Thursday, August 26, 2021, the IGP was seen in traffic – stuck in the gridlock with civilians on the Palace-Accra Mall Road.
Some members of the public cited examples where such officers, after splitting the traffic to facilitate their movement, have ended at food joints with them, or attending to other not so urgent matters but not with this police chief.
A Facebook user who saw this, took a snapshot of a Toyota V8 with car number GP1, signaling the official vehicle of the Police Chief in traffic, same as everyone else without a dispatch or buzzing sirens.