The police on Monday said the community policing service would be purely voluntary and the constables to be recruited would not receive any salary.
The state commissioners of police, who stated this in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Monday, said police commands had started meeting traditional rulers and community leaders with a view to recruiting constables for the community policing initiative.
The Federal Government had on January 23 directed the police hierarchy to commence the recruitment of special constables nationwide preparatory to the implementation of its community policing policy.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in a wireless message directed state police commands to set up screening committees for the recruitment of community policing constables.
The IG ordered all state commissioners of police, assistant commissioners of police and divisional police officers to liaise with traditional rulers and community leaders in their domains to screen volunteers who would be engaged after passing the screening tests.
The Federal Government plan came on the heels of the South-West states’ launching of a security outfit, Operation Amotekun, to address incessant killings and kidnapping in the zone.
As part of the moves to recruit community policing constables, the Ekiti State Police Command on Sunday said it had sent recruitment forms to all police stations in all the local government areas of the state. According to the command, applicants must be between ages of 21 and 50.
It’s not another job opportunity – Ebonyi CP
The Commissioner for Police in Ebonyi State, Sola Awotinde, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Monday, shed light on the community policing policy.
Aworinde said the proposed recruitment was meant for Nigerians who were already employed.
He said that it was important for Nigerians to be told the truth so that whoever wanted to be part of the scheme, should be prepared to know what to expect.
The police commissioner added that people had misconstrued the recruitment order of the IG into the community policing to be another paid job opportunity.
He said, “We have not been given the green light to recruit anybody. We are just at the committee level. I mean the committee that will screen the would be special constables. No command has been given the go-ahead to commence the said recruitment. The Force Headquarters has not done that.
“It is the headquarters that would say go ahead and we will start. But no command has been given such an order. The first stage is screening and we are just setting up the screening committee.
“And please, people should be told this truth and sound it clear to them; it is not remuneration-based job. It is voluntary. It is just going to be like the special marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps.
“It is for those who are gainfully employed or self-employed. There is no salary for anybody in the community policing scheme. People are misconstruing it to mean another job opportunity and I have received so many calls over this.
“It is not a paid job. Again, it is a voluntary job. And there is nothing like recruitment of constables. Also those to be engaged must be between the age of 21 and below 50.”
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer for the Ekiti State Command, Sunday Abutu, said that the special constables that would be recruited would not be paid.
Abutu said the special constables would work voluntarily in their communities.
When asked if the special constables in Ekiti State would be paid, he said, “It will not be different from what is applicable across the federation. For now, what we know is that these people are coming voluntarily. It is going to be voluntary, no monetary attachment for now.”
The Ogun State Police Command also said it would not pay any of the recruits for the special community policing scheme.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi, disclosed this in Abeokuta while fielding questions.
Oyeyemi said the exercise started on Monday with a meeting held between the Commissioner of Police, Kenneth Ebrimson, and the executive members of the Police Community Relations Committee in the state.
When asked whether the volunteer would get remuneration or not, Oyeyemi said, “No, there is no payment for any recruit for the scheme. It is a purely volunteer service .”
“It is community policing; no money is attached to it. No special qualifications are needed. The volunteers do not need to be graduates or have school certificates. It is a form of community policing constabulary. No money is attached .
“In fact, the people to be recruited must be gainfully employed somewhere. It is a volunteer service . That is why we warned the public to be careful of fraudsters who may ask them to obtain forms to be part of it. It is the community that will screen the volunteers to testify to their character .
“There will be a screening committee which will comprise traditional rulers, community leaders, leaders of the PCRC. No remuneration, it is a service to the nation.
“The CP will meet with traditional rulers, Community Development Council and Community Development Associations tomorrow (Tuesday),” he stated.
The Cross River State Commissioner of Police, Nkereuwem Akpan, confirmed that those to be recruited for community policing would not be paid.
Akpan, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, “People applying are those who have the capacity; people who are working. Those are the people applying. It is like a voluntary service. As of now there is nothing like allowances of any kind. That is why those applying are duly employed. It doesn’t matter whether you are a businessman; those that have tangible thing they are doing are the ones applying to help the society.”
The Bauchi State Police Command said it had formed the various committees for the recruitment of the constables for community policing in the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Kamal Abubakar, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the formation of the committees to The PUNCH in a telephone interview on Monday.
Abubakar said, “The Bauchi State Police Command has set up the committee already. It comprises community leaders and the police.
When asked if the constables to be recruited would be paid, he said, “I don’t know, I honestly don’t know.”
Recruitment not for the unemployed, but for professionals – Force PRO
When contacted, the force spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Frank Mba, confirmed that the special constables would not be paid any salary, but stipends.
According to him, this informed the police decision to engage employed people as special constables.
Mba stated, “The special constables will not be on basic salary, but they would be paid stipends or allowances. That explains the reason the target is not unemployed persons, but employed people like journalists, lawyers, doctors, teachers, traders and those who are gainfully employed.
“The special constables are people who can give us part of their time. That is why it is modelled after the United Kingdom community policing system where people volunteer to provide services.”