The call on policemen to be apolitical in their dealings has come at no better time than now. The reason for this is that policemen are expected to behave as professionals in their dealings with the public.
It is very unfortunately that certain policemen act as appendages of political parties and openly display their likes and dislikes for certain people depending on their political colours. Institutions such as the Police, the Military, the Judiciary, the Fire Service, the Civil Service, the Prisons Service, and many others are expected to operate professionally without fear or favour.
Confidence in the police sometimes wanes because of the unprofessional nature and bias displayed by certain police officers who allowed themselves to be used by people in authority or sometimes by very influential and rich people in their communities.
Every police officer is required to serve in the interest of peace for the country. This peace can only come about when the officers involved prove to be fair and just.
The public is likely to lose confidence in the police if it becomes clear that they stand for a group of people or the other, implying that if you do not belong to that group then any case involving you can be thrown overboard or be treated unfairly.
The end result of this is injustice, discrimination and unfair treatment. It also gives credence to the fact that unprofessional policemen in such situations are not trustworthy and therefore, cannot be entrusted with the mantle of enforcement of fair play, peace, security for all and social justice.
The call by the President of the Republic advising the police to be politically neutral is very important and goes to show that as a leader, he would want the police to deal with everyone or group of people as fairly as possible and also according to the law.
Sometimes, politicians prefer state institutions such as the police to pursue their personal political agenda to the detriment of others in the society. This is a wrong approach and does not ensure peace and fairness to everyone in the State.
It is for this reason that the President’s call on the police to be fair and neutral but not to allow themselves to be used as appendages must be taken serious by the leadership and officers of the Ghana Police Service.
The maintenance of law and order as well as the keeping of peace and security require that the Ghana Police Service rises above all forms of bias or prejudice and also call a spade a spade in their execution of an agenda of peace, security and fairness.
The Times is of the view that the police can demonstrate to the public that it is prepared to execute its mandate in a fair manner irrespective of the cases involved or those it is dealing with.
Professionalism is what the people of this country want. What they desire to see is the adoption of a stance that will ensure credibility to the entire Police Service, thereby, creating greater public confidence in the police.
The peace-keeping role of the police is very noble, so there is the need for all policemen to work hard and ensure that neutrality, integrity and fair play become common features in their day-to-day operations.
This way, they will be seen as real professionals.