Delta State Government has thrown its weight behind the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) in a bid to ease the friction between the police and the public for a safer society.
This was the fallout of a meeting between the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, and executive members of the PCRC, Delta State Command led by its Chairman, Comrade Oliver Eyefia, in Asaba.
While emphasizing the importance of the PCRC, the Information Commissioner identified one of the causes of seeming poor appreciation of the police as the foremost civil law enforcement agency as the series of military interregnum, among others.
‘’One of the major challenges of securing our nation today is the lack of understanding, trust between the public and the police. When an individual, for instance, is asked by the police to stop, that fellow already has a mental picture that the officer will attempt to extort him/her.
‘’That makes the fellow be on his/her guard and rather than comply with the police in a civil manner, he is already incensed and responds with anger. This, often, elicits reciprocal anger from the police.
‘’Therefore, the PCRC should not only educate the community but also relate the issues as it affects the community to the police. The PCRC then becomes the bridge that provides relationship opportunities between the people and the police.
‘’Often time we say ‘Police is your friend’, but we do know that members of the Nigerian public do not believe that the police is their friend. This is where the PCRC comes in. I am happy that you have talked about the need to provide the necessary training for the leadership of the PCRC.
‘’That proposed training needs to, among other things, emphasize orientation for the police to treat the public as their friends. This is because friendship is a two-way relationship; you cannot call someone your friend, who cannot come to your rescue in distress’’he said.
The information commissioner also enjoined members of the public to recognize the importance and role of the police, even as he noted the constraints and requests of the PCRC to better discharge their duties in bridging the gap between the police and the public.
Earlier, the PCRC State Command Chairman, Comrade Oliver Eyefia, informed the information commissioner of their proposed leadership orientation retreat better position the PCRC towards achieving results, even as he sought the partnership of the state government in meeting its ambitions.