The Ghana Police Service, (GPS), has welcomed the call by the Interior Ministry to arm all police personnel on traffic duty.
It however, says that for the police to be able to efficiently use arms they are equipped with, personnel need to be alert and well-disciplined and properly trained.
This is why some police personnel in the Upper West Region are undergoing Taekwondo training.
The weekly training is expected to improve the vigilance of the Police personnel as well as improve efficiency in handling hostile crowds and criminals who are armed.
The Deputy Upper West Regional Police Commander, ACP Peter Ndekugri explained that he has made it a personal decision to keep the men under his command in great shape.
He explained that the comments from the Ministry to meet all the logistical needs of the services includes enhanced training because “if you [policeman] are not smart and alert and you are given a weapon, a criminal would take it away from you”.
Taekwondo is a Korean form of Martial Arts. It is a combative activity characterized by its emphasis on head kicks, spinning kicks and other fast hand and leg kicking techniques.
Personnel of the GPS begin their training session by first warming up with light jogs and later engage in the Taekwando with the help of an instructor.
The Deputy Upper West Regional Commander Police, ACP Peter Ndekugri explained that in keeping with the primary duties of the Police to maintain law and order in the communities, the police service needs to produce robust individuals who can adapt to various situations, handle threats and ward off unwarranted attacks.
“This exercise seeks to rejuvenate and energize the personnel of the [Ghana Police] Service. It is also to make them proactive, alert, smart and make them capable of adapting themselves to any situation,” he explained.
He continued to say that the training goes beyond routine training to but a regimen that stimulates both brain and physical activities.
The Taekwondo Instructor, Kwasivi Otodjo said it is critical that as the first line of defense in various communities, the Police must be combat-ready.
He said in developed countries, policemen are given hand-to-hand combat training before being armed with guns.
Mr. Otodjo explained that this makes it easier for police personnel to easily disarm criminals and keep residents safe.
“If you go to the United States of America, the policemen are taken through combat, karate and a lot of other things before they learn to shoot,” he explained.
He disclosed that as part of the training, the police would be equipped with defense skills against knives, cutlasses and guns.
Some of the police personnel who have been taking part in the training said their new found skills set is a great source of confidence.