The Federal Government has directed the police hierarchy to commence the recruitment of special constables nationwide preparatory to the implementation of its community policing policy.
To this end, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has directed state police commands to set up screening committees to engage about 40,000 special constables to complement the conventional police.
In a wireless message, the IGP ordered all state Commissioners of Police, Assistant Commissioners of Police and Divisional Police Officers to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders in their domains to screen volunteers who would be engaged after passing the screening tests.
At least, 50 volunteers will be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas in the country.
The police wireless message with reference DTO:231704/01/2020, announcing the commencement of the recruitment, was copied to Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, departments and formations.
It read, “INGENPOL directs that you be informed that Federal Government has given approval for recruitment of special constables as a step forward to enhancing community policing policy nationwide.
“INGENPOL further directs all commands’ CPs, ACPs and DPOs in your respective commands to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders in your respective areas to form screening committees that will screen volunteers who must be of good character and who will eventually be recruited as special constables.
“All those to be recommended must be resident in their respective communities and must also be between the ages of 21 and 50 with willingness to serve the community.”
The IG told the CPs, ACPs and DPOs to study the Police Act 49 and 50 for proper guidance while urging them to provide updates on his directives.
The candidates for the constabulary must be physically fit and gainfully employed and pastors, Imams, teachers, lawyers, journalists and youths would be considered for the volunteer job.
But the special constables, who would not be armed, are expected to handle charge room and administrative duties, crowd control, accident scene duties, alternative dispute resolution and other less sensitive and less risky functions.
They will dress in police uniform but with a different force numbers to distinguish them from the regular cops.