By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The new Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Police Com,mand Mr. Austin Iwar, has said he will deploy 80 percent police personnel to fight crimes in Kaduna state.
The CP, who made the remark during his maiden media briefing held at the Police Officers Mess’ Kaduna on Thursday, said “robust strategy” would be adopted by the Kaduna State Police Command to flush out kidnappers and related violent crime from the state.
New Kaduna State: “This is my second day in the command. But in areas I have worked, I have maintained policy that 80 per cent of personnel will be deployed to fight crime.
“Areas that have redundant personnel, we will push them into the streets. As time goes on, there will be visibility of more policemen on the roads. There has been so much of reactive policing. We want to balance that with active policing.
“We will develop strategies to deal with security challenges by involving our communities through partnership.
“There will be massive community engagement. It will focus on, but not restricted to, crime management. In kidnapping, the hot spot first. What we can do is to mount massive campaigns to tell people how to avoid being kidnapped and what to do when kidnapped.
“The PRO and others will be strengthened. Media has a key role to play. We will reach out to legitimate representatives of the people. We are not to task the communities but partner.
“We will partner all security agencies in ensuring synergy. All police officers must partner all security agencies. Area Commands are under firm instruction to deploy patrol teams. Sensitization campaigns would also be employed,” he said.
Speaking further, he said that they would focus on providing security and safety to the people of Kaduna State. “Providing security to the people will be captured in programmes, and we partner worship centres, schools, etc., in achieving that,” he said.
He vowed that the command would deal decisively with trouble makers in the state. “Police will deal decisively with all those out to breach peace in the state,” he said.
He assured that he will carry every stakeholder along in ensuring that Kaduna is crime-free. “I will maintain an open door policy to improve safety and security. Every policeman and women has a role to play. We’ll lead the command through a management team,” he emphasized.
Speaking further, he told officers and men to maintain high level of discipline at all times. “Personnel must exhibit high discipline and standards at all times. Indiscipline will be meted out with sanction and punishment at all times,” he said.
On the protection of rights of citizens, he stressed that the police will ensure fairness, equity and protection if rights. “Police under my watch will ensure human rights, not violated. The command shall maintain zero tolerance for corruption. I have directed all oversight units to conduct surprise checks, and anyone found wanting would be sanctioned.
To improve capacity building for officers and men: “Capacity of personnel will be built with ability to solve problems in collaboration with relevant agencies.
Investigation personnel to be strengthened: “Role of intelligence in policing cannot be overemphasized,” he pointed out.
He appealed to the people of Kaduna State to give them their maximum cooperation to serve them better.
CP Iwar assured men of the Kaduna Command of prompt payment of all entitlements, saying, “Welfare of personnel is a strategic thing; it is the Federal Government’s responsibility. However, in my small way, we will ensure that all benefits accruable to personnel will get to them. We will ensure they get them; if salaries come, we will pay.
“Let me reiterate that, if there are welfare packages for them, they will get it,” he assured.
On how he intends to tackle the lingering crisis in the Southern part of Kaduna, he said it is a complex issue that requires time to handle. “I have heard of Southern Kaduna, but I am yet to understand the situation. It is complex, and I cannot understand it in two days,” he admitted.
On alleged cases of setting some suspects free, he said that “Under my watch, every case will be thoroughly investigated. We will work closely with the ministry of justice.”
Iwar said that Kaduna State is a bigger command than Gombe, where he previously served. “I am the 35th Commissioner of Police in Kaduna Command. Coming here is emotional, it is home coming. I was born here, did my primary, secondary and tertiary institutions here.
“I am glad to be here; within three days, ‘have been overwhelmed with hospitality,” he emphasized.
Also speaking at the briefing, outgoing CP, Agyole Abeh, who was transferred to Abuja, said that he had always expected a day like this since he came to the command, where he will give stewardship.
He thanked the Kaduna State Government for support given to the Command, while expressing hopes that same will be accorded the new CP; and that his leaving will not create a gap because the new CP has a track record that will make him perform excellently. “For those I may have offended, I pray you forgive me,” he added.