By Innocent Anguyo
As the population of Kampala city hits a startling four million, maintaining law and order is proving to be a daunting task for the relatively few police officers. In response, Kampala metropolitan police has created more police stations and posts in a bid to make police services more accessible to the public.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Ibin Ssenkumbi has revealed that the move is aimed at taking police services closer to city residents. “As the number of city dwellers soars, we need to move in to match service delivery with the rate population growth. We also intend to recruit more officers to man the new service centers,” Ssenkumbi said.
There are currently 34 police stations and 145 police posts in Kampala struggling to pacify the heavily populated city. The move will see Kampala Metropolitan Police are establishing a police station in every parish in Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) jurisdiction beginning early this year.
Ssenkumbi revealed that each police station will be headed by an officer at the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP). “Every parish will have a police station and that police station will have an ASP. At the village level, we are to have a police post,” Ssenkumbi said in an exclusive interview with the New Vision recently.
He said the move is part of rebranding of community policing strategy in Kampala. Community police involves police partnership with the community to fight crime. KCCA has 99 parishes and 806 zones, meaning the police will require at least 100 senior officers to manage the stations, with at least 8,000 officers below the rank of ASP.
This will push the number of police stations in Kampala to 99 and police posts to 806. The Metropolitan area that covers Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi districts has at least 10,000 officers.
The minimum requirements for establishing a police station are rooms for offices, cells and reception. A police station must also have all departments, including criminal investigations, child and family protection, operations, among others. The least number of officers at the station is 25, most of them doing office work.
The community policing strategy was established in 1989, but it has not been fully implemented due to shortage of funds and lack of training of officers in problem-solving strategies.