The Inspector General of Police (IGP), David Asante Apeatu, has hinted the Ghana Police Service (GPS) may soon set first degree as the minimum qualification for recruitment into the service.
This, he said, is part of the new strategies being discussed to cure the perceived lack of professionalism in the service.
His comment follows recent developments which have seen the Service making the headlines for the all the wrong reasons.
Two weeks ago, seven people were gunned down by a team of policemen from the Ashanti Regional SWAT Unit at Poano near Anhwia Nkwanta on the Kumasi-Obuasi road.
The police say the victims were suspected robbers, who were wielding guns, allegedly belonging to a gang who killed one Lance Corporal Daniel Tieku of the SWAT Unit, during a robbery operation.But the residents of Asawase in Kumasi have denied claims that those shot are robbers.
Last Friday, Ghanaians took social media by storm after a video of a police officer assaulting a woman inside a financial institution for disobeying his orders triggered a public outcry.On Saturday, a policeman accompanying a bullion van accidentally shot and killed the driver of the van in his attempt to ward-off mourners who had blocked parts of the Odumase Krobo road in the Eastern Region.In a bid to correct such bad policing, Mr Asante Apeatu told Joy News’ Kojo Yankson, recruiting better-educated officers will help deal with the current challenges in the service.
“It is for us to start being proactive and make sure we do thing differently and embrace the community policing concept,” he said.
On what has to be done differently, the IGP said, “first of all, in our transformational agenda, we have listed certain things that we have to revamp. Training and retraining of our officers who are constantly on the job.
“We must also fire the bad apples because they are dangerous. Imagine that we had four-year degree holders only in the Ghana Police Service (GPS), won’t the Service change? It will definitely make a big change in the GPS,” he said.According to him, it is time to raise the bar on the qualification to consider for recruiting people into the Service.
The minimum qualification for GPS used to be a good Junior High School (JHS) Basic Education Certificate, which has been reviewed.
Now, the recruitment requirement is not different from what most Ghanaian tertiary institutions require for admission.
That is a minimum of six credits [A1-C6] at WASSCE, English language and Mathematics inclusive. Applicants must also be of good character and without any criminal records.
But Mr Asante Apeatu disclosed that discussions are ongoing to raise the bar to first degree holders.
“It will be proper for us to keep on raising the bar higher,” he added.
According to the IGP, the Service will also deploy more technology to ensure effective policing.