Independent opinions

Police: An abused institution that has kept up it’s good work

It was a few days ago when I met an accident on my way to work early morning. A police pick-up truck had collided with a tipper lorry and three police men died on spot. This happened on Entebbe road around a place we always call Kitubu. These courageous men had just saved a man from mob-justice only to meet their death a few minutes later. Many of us don’t appreciate the fact that these officers put their lives on the risk to save our very own. When a bomb is announced in any building in town, all of us will try to distance ourselves from that building as fast as possible while the officers will enter the building to try to find it and diffuse it while others will stay around the building to ensure that everyone is evacuated and is safe from the damage that the bomb may cause. Can someone be more courageous than that?
Police is a body of persons empowered by the state to enforce the law, protect property, and limit civil disorder. Their powers include the use of force though the force used should be proportional to the threat they are facing.
There have been cases where police officers on duty have made fatal mistakes that have led to the deaths of civilians but all these cases have been dealt with by the police, thanks to the Professional Standard Unit (PSU) of the police which works on strict guidelines and has tried to ensure that discipline prevails in our armed forces.
“The Uganda Police Force, according to, is nationalistic, patriotic, professional, disciplined, competent and productive”. Atleast this is their target.
The traffic officers who have maintained their presence on all roads, at all times of the day and night, should also not go unmentioned. These men have worked tirelessly hard to ensure that our roads are safe from cars in dangerous mechanical condition, drunk drivers, drivers without permits e.t.c.
The Annual Crime Report of 2011 says “the fatality rate from accidents has since 2007 continued to decline, from 71% in 2007 to 46.5% in 2010, (with a slight increase in 2011)” . Bravo to these officers.
I applaud our Police for introducing and promoting community policing. Community policing is a philosophy that promotes police strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. The participants of community policing include media, community members, NGO’s, other gov’t agencies e.t.c. Community policing helps in such a way that each member of the community participates in keeping the community safe and being more vigilant to their surroundings.

It is the work of the police to ensure law and order, that can’t be doubted at all. I always ask people to imagine a day in the city without police. By police, I mean counter terrorism, traffic, security guards, mobile patrols e.t.c. Don’t you think criminal acts like pick pocketing, disobeying traffic lights, theft in businesses, theft of cars e.t.c would take place? Would anyone expect order since there is usually disorder even in the presence of these officers? Is that what we want for our city?
Gone are the days when our police would wait for crime to take place, then they react. In this 21st century, police acts even before the crime has been committed. Intelligence information has saved us from many terror attacks though we rarely get to know since the threats are ‘neutralized’ before they actually take place. The foundation of any country (or business or institution) is security. We have a police that has been funded (though not yet satisfactorily well) and equipped with gadgets to avert any threats that may arise. We, the citizens, have failed to realize that when crime doesn’t take place, it may not necessarily mean that it wasn’t there in the first place. It could instead mean that the crime was stopped before it could take place.
Comparing the current Police force to the one’s before 1986, I think this one is doing a tremendous job in cleaning the country’s image. People have frequently abused, threatened & attacked it but the response has always been professional, a statement that can’t be said of the previous forces!
The government is now trying to modernize the armed forces by setting the minimum requirement for a cadet course as a bachelor’s degree and that for a Constable is S.6 leaver’s certificate. The excuse of the police officers are doing ‘this & that’ because they are illiterate or these guys joined the police because they had nothing to do in the villages and were fed up before joining the police will soon be phased out. I predict that the armed forces will be composed of patriotic men & women, who will join due to the love for their country and not the commonly assumed reason of desperacy!
My Science tells me that no machine ever invented is 100% efficient. What the operators do is try to minimize the inefficiencies or seek a way of changing those inefficiencies to suit the needs of the operator
A friend of mine in the Police had this to say, “The police gets better and more professional every day given the fact that it continues to take in graduates and professionals. The current IGP has set a high standard of discipline, education and proactivity than reactive, methods of policing. He has introduced community policing which continues to make the public understand and appreciate police as they also participate hence building confidence. Gone are the days when police used to be for failures as stereo typed by people. It is very hard to join without qualification and still you must pass the set standards. With Gen Kale Kayihura at the top, or anyone with the same plans for the force, Uganda police will be in its rightful position, nothing but the best”
Rather than spend every day ‘backbiting’ these courageous men, I want us all to appreciate their use, embrace their effort to keep security in our community and assist them where possible. They may have made errors sometimes but as we identify their errors, let’s use the same energy to applaud their good deeds and encourage them to improve but not criticize them always as if their intention is to cause harm. To the police officers out there, pole sana
@jobaze (on twitter)



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