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IGP urged to prioritise building public trust

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A US-based Gambian security analyst, has urged the Inspector General of Police to prioritise building public trust in the police.  

“Our law enforcement officers, and other security personnel have been viewed as public enemies by the citizens since former president Jammeh’s administration which is the cause of 95 percent of the unwarranted controversies that happens between the police and the public,” Modou Lamin Faye told The Standard.

The Seattle-based criminologist said it is now time to change that perception and build community trust/relations between law enforcement officers and the public, where they will be viewed as heroes and protectors of the country.

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Faye said the government should stop spending money on unnecessary international capacity building training programmes and focus on increasing incentives and provision of sophisticated equipment for the police.

“Capacity building training programmes are for institutions, communities, or organisations to use and develop/strengthen their skills, knowledge, and resources that they need to adjust to a new way of effectively solving or tackling problems. The capacity building training can be done online via zoom call or other online training platforms to save companies or government institutions time, money, and resources,” he said.

He said training programs for law enforcement and national security crises, on the other hand, can be used in some cases to have officers learn how other countries do their jobs.

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“Therefore, it was unwise and a mere waste of taxpayers’ money to send police officers to China and Germany to attend training programs,” he said.

He said the Dutch,Turkish and Chinese training modules were created based on their struggles and challenges which are completely different from that of Gambia.

“I am not saying that the government should not be collaborating with other countries to share ideas on how to effectively enforce laws and build good relationships with the public that we all protect and serve, but we should not heavily rely on them to fix our problems,” he added.

For many years now, he added, The Gambia government has been using taxpayers’ money on travel expenses to send security officers for capacity building training abroad and paying foreign experts, doctors, and construction workers to come to the country to do jobs that Gambians can do.

“There are smart people in The Gambia especially in the security sector but unless and until we start believing in ourselves, support each other more than we believe in or support foreigners to do the job, and willing to leave room to learn new ways of doing things to keep up with the fast-changing world, we will never get out of the same system that we have been since we had our independence,” he chastised.

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