‘Give them pepper spray, tasers’ – Expert cautions against arming traffic cops

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Security analyst, Adam Bonaa has cautioned against arming traffic police, fearing unwarranted shooting of motorists.

Mr. Bonaa said if the officers must be necessarily armed, they should be given pepper spray, tasers and other non-lethal weapons instead.

The expert is worried if the officers are given lethal weapons, they would shoot at the least provocation.

“…one or two deaths that way and we are going to be telling a different story,” Bonaa told Israel Laryea on JoyNews Prime on Monday.

According to him, what officers of the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) of the Ghana Police need is “more training with regards to deploying” them.

He added that the officers need more logistics like handcuffs with which they can restrain a suspected criminal on the road.

His concerns follow Interior Minister Ambrose Dery’s directive that all police officer son traffic duty be armed following the killing of two police officers by suspected armed robbers at Kasoa in the Central Region.

This was after the officers tried to stop them at a checkpoint at Buduburam.

Seven suspects have since been arrested and arraigned in court on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, abetment of murder and murder.

The gruesome episode brings the number of police officers murdered in line of duty to five in just one month.

To avert this Mr. Dery wants the officers fully armed enough to defend themselves. He added that the acting IGP, James Oppong Boanuh should provide the officers with bullet-proof vests and helmets.

But reacting to this, Mr. Bonaa believes caution must be exercised because “how well trained are our motor traffic department officers…”

He said if his advice is sought on the issue, he would caution against giving traffic cops guns.

 

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