Before Dr. George Akuffo Dampare took over from James Oppong-Boanuh, as Inspector General of Police (IGP), the reputation of the Ghana Police Service was not the best. To quote Manasseh Azure Awuni; a freelance investigative journalist, “Under Dampare, every foolishness has its limit. Dampare is large and in charge.” In the recent past, it was unthinkable for Ghanaians to take the side of the Ghana Police Service over an alleged kidnapped victim but in the Takoradi pregnant woman kidnapped case, the peoples’ solidarity was with the Police, shocking right? Here are three reasons why Dr. George Akuffo Dampare has swept Ghana off its feet.
Who let the Dogs out, Wooof Wooof!: Reviving defunct units of the Ghana Police Service:
You may have heard about the K-9 unit and Horse Patrol units but have you seen them in action before? Your answer is a good as mine. Dr. Dampare since assumption of office has revived these units as part of the Police Service’s Proactive Preventive Policing Strategy. The dog patrols were added to the new reforms to increase visibility of personnel, improve intelligence gathering and track contraband goods. To combat crime, the horse patrol was added to augment other patrol duties such as community foot patrol, motor bike patrol, visibility patrol and the recently introduced Motorcycle Traffic Management and Mobility Teams in Tema and Accra.
Swift emergency response
In the past, the media especially social media was a washed with stories and memes of how slow the Ghana Police Service was in responding to issues. This notion is changing thanks to Dampare. There was an accident on the Accra -Kumasi highway at Densuso near Apedwa junction involving a single cargo track vehicle on 25th August 2021. Immediately it occurred, the Police was at the scene directing and controlling traffic. The road was cleared as soon as possible to allow for free flow of traffic. Do you remember the four Police Officers who were interdicted for unprofessional conduct on grounds of allegedly assaulting residents in Tamale on the 21st of September, 2021? It was within a couple of hours when the Police released a statement interdicting them with immediate effect and apologised to the affected persons and the general public. Did you in your wildest dreams know you’d live to see a Ghana Police Service that responds to issues this swiftly and apologise to Ghanaians and victims even before detailed investigations are conducted? Well, are you in love with Dr. Dampare yet? Additionally, the PR unit of the police service is responsive and trendy. News and updates of arrests, investigations and projects are released in real time to prevent speculations and to enable the police service control the narrative. Their social media handles are current with real time updates to Ghanaians. This is indeed commendable.
The Police is no respecter of persons
We have all heard of or even used the phrase ‘‘the law is no respecter of persons’’ but has that always been the case? Of course not, celebrities, politicians and the ‘creme de la crème’ of the Ghanaian society are perceived to get away with a lot of things the ordinary Ghanaian will go to jail for. Dampare is changing a lot of things and giving meaning to the phrase “we are equal before the law”. Rev Owusu Bempah, “a whole nation’s Prophet” found himself in jail and not even feigning sickness could get him released. Rev. Owusu Bempah’s closeness to the Presidency; the appointing authority of Dampare as IGP is an open secret in Ghana but that didn’t deter the new Police chief from “cracking the whip” without fear or favour.
When Shatta Wale allegedly decided to prank his followers, he probably didn’t think he and his accomplices will find themselves in jail. Well, the difference between Shatta Wale and the boy who cried wolf is that, in the case of the boy who cried wolf, Dr. George Akuffo Dampare wasn’t there.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo swore in Dr. George Akuffo Dampare as the substantive Inspector-General of Police (IGP) at the Jubilee House on Friday, October 8, 2021.
Dr. Dampare was acting in the capacity as Ag. IGP for two months before being sworn-in as the substantive IGP, having been promoted from his previous role as the Director-General in charge of Administration at the Ghana Police Service. COP Dampare, 51 is Ghana’s 23rd IGP. He is also the youngest IGP to be appointed in the Fourth Republic and the eighth youngest since Ghana gained independence. If his reformation of the Ghana Police Service and profile hasn’t wooed you, check out the social media pages of the Ghana Police Service, you may just become a new ‘convert’.
By: Bridget Mensah