It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this landmark ceremony of rewarding the best performing districts and also recognize friends of police for their contribution in fighting crime in the year 2018.
First of all, let me take this opportunity to thank all those that have contributed to the success of this ceremony particularly the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) that funded this function and enabled us procure the 14 motor vehicles and 16 motorcycles that are to benefit the entire UPF but specifically CID, Medical services, CFPU, Canine, Human Rights and legal services and R, P&D.
We also greatly thank and appreciate our other friends and partners who have come out to fill the gap where police has not been able to reach due to financial constraints by constructing police posts/ stations, donating land, and in some instances providing transport; a commitment to which the police is grateful. I wish to underline the obligation that we all hold to ensure that the resources are put to use for the intended purpose. There shall be no misuse of the resources and whichever officer does so will be held accountable.
I also thank the Directorates of R, P&D and Political Commissariat for resurrecting this process of appreciating commendable performance of our officers and the invaluable support of friends and partners. This is a sign that the police – public partnership which is crucial in fighting crime is growing from strength to strength.
As you are all aware, the strategic direction of the Uganda Police Force as in its Mission and Vision as guided by Articles 211 and 212 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda is building and transforming the police into professional, service- oriented, pro people and effective institution.
Currently, UPF still has a number of challenges in the execution of this mandate some of which includes, under-funding, Capacity gaps in terms of personnel strengths and training, welfare, indiscipline by some officers, corrupt practices, human rights violations.
However, the Police management is putting in place measures to address some of the challenges mentioned above which includes: recruitment of more personnel, building the capacity of the CID and forensic services, improving welfare, strengthening the disciplinary court systems and rewarding performance which is a yard stick for enhancing professionalism, motivating personnel and consequently improving service delivery.
From the remarks of the Director R, P&D, this year the area of assessment has been only four:
1) Management of investigations,
2) Timely submission of returns
3) Professional behavior and
4) Human rights especially observance of the 48-hour rule concerning the detention of suspects.
This is because we have just revived assessments but in future, the assessments shall be expanded to include other perimeters such as integrity, collaborative partnerships, performance standards, customer care, response, and handling incidences, barracks and station cleanliness, among others.
It is important that rewards are established and institutionalized so that we motivate our personnel and partners in fighting crime. We are in a society where bad news will sell better than good news, the bad deeds of a few elements in the police force can easily overshadow the many good deeds of the majority of the police force. So, giving due recognition to these outstanding officers, stations and partners who have earned the respect and admiration of the communities they serve would serve a great deal in creating a favorable public mindset for the country’s law enforcement by offsetting the negative views about the UPF and promoting what is truly representative of the UPF as an organization, that despite its inadequacies in terms of manpower and logistical resources, it continues to serve best.
Congratulations to all of you and may this honor that you have received serve as an inspiration for you to initiate more programs that will empower the UPF and the community to help in promoting peace and order and likewise inspire others in the police force and the other partners to follow your footsteps.
As I conclude, I would like in a special to recognize the various contributions of the friends of police in the fight against crime as have been enumerated. I also thank members of the general public and the media for the continued support, cooperation, and vigilance in fighting crime.
Lastly, I would like to once again thank the Directorate of R, P&D for organizing this historic event and JLOS for the continued financial support. I am confident that this will add to the already ongoing efforts in energizing our field commanders in the fight against crime and hopefully we shall register better performance in the year 2019.
I thank you.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY
JM Okoth-Ochola, (Esq.)
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE