- Charges NPMS to prioritize health of personnel
Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, says policing and internal security management strategy under the current police leadership is woven around the principles of community policing.
Adamu who stated this during the maiden conference of heads of Nigeria police medical facilities held in Abuja said the Police must evolve a new orientation in terms of the nature of their interaction and content of services they render to the public in all spheres of their professional engagements.
According to him, this new orientation under the current leadership is the only way to build trust between the Nigeria Police and the citizens, and it is the most veritable pathway towards returning the Police to the community they serve.
“We must evolve new strategic approaches in which the Police Medical Services will play a critical role. Hence, beyond the traditional obligations of meeting the medical needs of serving and retired police personnel, the Police Medical Services must start viewing its roles from the strategic policing lens which requires of them the responsibility of engaging in medical outreaches to targeted communities, educational institutions, youths and children population, and enhancing their capacity to mobilize to medically challenged communities with a view to rendering professional medical services.”
He said the medical services envisioned for the Nigeria Police within this context, is one that can appreciate and respond in the most professional manner to modern threats to national security, particularly, as they relate to bio-terrorism and management of communicable diseases.
“The Police Medical Services must review and strengthen its institutional and personnel capacity towards intervening in national emergencies occasioned by acts of crime and terrorism, and enhance its ability in the management of defilement, rape and other gender-based crimes.”
Reacting to the misused of firearms by police officers in recent time and other extra-judicial killings, IGP Adamu said the incidents are most often as a result of work-related stresses and emotional conditions which disorient police personnel rationality.
“In consideration of this, I have ordered that with immediate effect, the shift duty structure of the Nigeria Police which is currently a 12-hour, 2-shifts system should be reverted to the traditional 8hours, 3-shifts shift standard.
He said the directive is specifically informed by the need to address a major, age-long occupational stressor which long hours of duty engenders among personnel in the Nigeria Police Force and which occasions depression and abuse of power and other unprofessional conducts.
Adamu stated that henceforth, no police personnel should be made to perform any duty exceeding 8-hours within a space of 24 hours unless there is a local or national emergency.
He charged the NPMS to always complement the leadership of the Nigeria Police by striving at all times to guarantee a healthy work-life balance and ensuring that officers attain the highest possible level of health status that will prevent occupational health stress factors which manifest into fatigue, compromised immune system, heart diseases and high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, irritability, risk of substance abuse and emotional instability.
According to the police boss, NPMS must start emplacing strategies and techniques including cognitive therapy and emotional intelligence models that will strengthen the stress management capacity and operational resilience of all personnel.