Inspector General of Police John Martins Okoth Ochola has laid down ways in which Police will regain its professionalism and restore public confidence.
Mr.Okoth Ochola revealed these while meeting Regional staff of Wamala and Katonga on Thursday.
Accompanied by a team of four directors and other senior officers from Police headquarters, IGP said the provision of leadership in Police lies on everyone irrespective of the successes or failures.
“We are the ones to shift the direction of the institution. It’s therefore pertinent that we agree to take a common position and determine where we want to be as an institution, “Mr. Okoth Ochola said.
He advised Police Officers who are doing things outside the professional code to stop it immediately because it won’t be accepted.
Mr. Okoth Ochola added that what determines an officers’ professionalism, there should be a chain of command in the institution.
“The outlook of an officer determines the professionalism in you. The way you respond to complaints from society, customer care, the way an officer interacts with the public, and your conduct. How do you behave in the eyes of the public?” he said.
He said the public will only give respect to Police when the institution conducts itself in a professional manner.
The IGP noted that brutalizing the citizenry will instead cause the public to distance themselves from Police.
“Those who torture members of the public, torture are not condoned by any member of the Police leadership. We shall not accept the criminal conduct. Therefore, it’s everyone’s duty to win back the trust of the public whose confidence in the Police was eroded long ago,” he said, adding, “We have to re-establish systems so that they function. Police leadership will not obstruct you from doing your normal duty. The systems must function. All directorates and departments should be able to take decisions whether rightly or wrongly as long as one can defend the basis of that decision. So, from today onwards don’t expect us to take decisions for you.”
He called upon staff to have teamwork, where all officers participate or contribute to the operations of the institution.
He added that every Police Officer should have self confidence in order to discharge their duties and take decisions without fear.
Mr. Okoth Ochola said that there is need to improve on the disciplinary mechanisms in the Force in order to help the institution to prevent an escalation of indiscipline among officers.
“There shall not be protection of any officer who is indiscipline,” he warned.
He said there is need to improve on the image of the Force by having a pro people Police that he said are accountable to the public.
The IGP stressed that there is need for capacity building for both human and non human resource, where emphasis should be put on managerial courses especially for mid level managers.
“So, we are going to intensify conducting courses so that those officers who have become rusty can be back on board,” he said.
He noted that there will be need to revisit training syllabus with the view of passing out quality officers.
The officers we have now, especially the constables, he said need a lot of retraining.
The IGP noted that there is need to address the lack of logistics and also manage the available resources in a prioritized manner and plan on how to use the resources available.
“We shall have zero tolerance to corrupt tendencies and that should be our motto so that we clean the image of the Force,” he said.
He said the institution shall not continue being ranked highest by the Uganda Human Rights Commission as human rights abuser while the institution looks on.
“We can’t keep walking with our heads high. We have to stop violating people’s rights if our image is really to be somewhere,” the IGP said.