We have created an environment where it is normal to assault the police and our police also assault citizens indiscriminately. But the focus here is not to ponder over the cause of the problem, but to look at why it is important to mend this broken trust between the police and the people.
Theremaybemanyjustifiedreasonsastowhypeopledon’ttrustthepoliceastherearepeoplewhorespectandlikethem.Just because there has been instances where some police officers have engaged in irresponsible act does not mean all police officers are evil and out to get you.
Some people have good reasons to hate the police . But whether you like the police or hate them, they are essential for our everyday safety and security as citizens of any state or country.
This is to neither support the police or to reject them nor is it to support the people that like or hate them but simply to explain some of the psychology around police authority and why it has such a negative effect on people especially those who do not support or even hate the police.
Now, just imagine living in this country without the service of the the police, there would be chaos. There would be no one to enforce the law, meaning there would be no order. Crime would be at its highest rate.
However, this is not to say that police brutality should be applauded, Treat all citizens with respect. Make decisions based on witnessing a violation or crime, probable cause, suspicious behavior or seeking information to provide for public safety –never solely on age, gender, race, religion. If you ask a police officer what their role is, most of them will say to enforce the laws yet that is a very narrow part of what police do, how many of them would actually say their role is to defend the constitutional rights of all people.
Strong relationships of mutual trust between police agencies and the people they serve are critical to maintaining public safety and effective policing. Police officials rely on the cooperation of people to provide information about crime in their neighborhoods, and to work with the police to devise solutions to crime and disorder. Similarly, people’s willingness to trust the police depends on whether they believe that police actions reflect community values and incorporate the principles of procedural justice and legitimacy.
Law-enforcement officers should respect the communities they serve as much as they respect the ones in which they live. And citizens should respect each officer’s position of authority within the community.
Citizens should see the police as friends not foes and to treat them just as they treat their friends on the other hand the police should protect the citizens just as they protect their families and not maltreat them. We have to work hand in hand in order to make our country a better place to live in.
Ghana Institute of Journalism,