The Ghana Police Service, as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, has suspended recruitment until further notice.
“Police training schools, recruits training activities have been suspended,” an official statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, has said.
“Recruits, other than the final year students and the ‘passing out squad’ have been consequently released to go home until further directives.”
The statement, signed by the Director-General of the Public Affairs Directorate of the Service, Superintendent Mrs Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, said other contingency measures in place for strict compliance included regularly disinfecting of police cells.
“Fresh” suspects would be screened before they are placed in custody, while persons who had been remanded to police custody and those who had committed felonious offences would be kept in cells.
“In order to contain the COVID-19 situation and protect all persons, the Police Administration is also appealing to all that, frequenting Police Stations, offices, cells and facilities may not be in their best interest,” it stated.
Unofficial visits, it advised, must be restricted and encouraged official visitors to adopt one of the alternative means of communication and meeting with police officers and cells inmates, instead of paying personal visits.
It also asked the public to use the official contact number of the Police Station or office (displayed around the premises), adding that, calls to cell inmates had been restricted to immediate family members, lawyers or such other necessary persons.
For operational camps, it said, in addition to the arrangements made for police personnel, residential camps for police operations would be supported by police medical teams, who would attend to their medical concerns.
These include arresting officers, investigators, patrol officers and traffic control officers and Police Operational Camps.
The statement said arrangements had been made for police personnel and their civilian counterparts to receive sufficient education and knowledge on the pandemic, its spread, preventive measures and what to do in case of suspicion of infection both at home and in the course of work.
Specific in-house briefing and arrangements had also been made for frontline officers.
Facilities had been provided for regular hand washing and sanitising, the statement said.
They included mounting of veronica buckets with running water, soap and tissue papers at all Police Stations, offices, camps and facilities to encourage regular hand washing of personnel and visitors to the facilities.
Adequate provisions had also been made for replenishing supplies and general management of the buckets.
Arrangements, according to the statement, had also been made for medically recommended hand sanitizers to be provided at police stations, offices, camps and facilities.
“Personnel have also been encouraged to keep their own sanitizers handy for regular application”.
It announced the hotlines for covid-19 rapid response as 0594950021, 0557702759 and 0594900312.
It gave the telephone number of the national response management, which had been made available to the officers as 0558439868 and 0509497700.
The statement asked the public to report grievances on on-going road traffic policing, patrol and operations of front line officers by calling 0550323323, 0275000156 or reaching them on the WhatsApp line 020663912.
Calls of complaints against Police professionalism should be made to the Police Professional Standards Bureau (PPSB) on 0299209192; while Online contact with Police could be made through www.police.gov.gh, @GhPoliceService on Facebook and Twitter, and in emergency crime situation 18555 and 191.
The Police Administration assured the public that it had availed its commands and structures for the needed support whenever they arose.
“The Police Administration assures that officers will continue to carry out the duties of maintaining law and order, including preventing crimes, arrest of offenders, investigation of criminal cases and attendant actions unabated.
“We, therefore, appeal to all and sundry in Ghana to stay away from being in conflict with the law -to comply with the laws of Ghana, the directives issued by the President H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and general safety measures issued by mandated persons and institutions”.