Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau on Friday inaugurated a 17-member State Advisory Committee on community policing.
The committee is expected to supervise and guide the state government in the implementation of the community policing policy programme.
Lalong, in a brief speech at the ceremony, said that the committee was the highest custodian of community policing charged with handling all matters in that regard.
He said that the committee comprised of critical stakeholders such as the Chairman, Council of Chiefs and Emirs, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, and the Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, who would serve as co-chairmen.
“With this array of distinguished personalities assembled in this Committee, I have no doubt that the massive wealth of experience gathered by them will be deployed into providing leadership that will make community policing a success.
“The Federal Government, which nominated you for this critical assignment, shall be expecting nothing less than your very best.
“In the same vein, the government and people of Plateau will also be looking up to you to act in the best interest of peace and security,” he said.
Lalong charged the members to be focused and resolute in carrying out their assignment, urging them to shun every distraction that could arise from religious, ethnic or political pressures.
“You should also be determined to overcome any attempt by criminals and their sponsors to drag you into controversies aimed at scuttling your assignment.
“You must resist these tendencies by remaining faithful and patriotic to your task,” he said.
He said that security was a major priority of his administration, adding that efforts had been put in place to overcome the crises that bedeviled the state in recent years.
He regretted that Plateau was still confronted with crimes such as banditry, kidnapping, robbery and violent clashes that had continued to threaten the tranquility of the land.
“It is to nip such criminal tendencies in the bud that we became one of the first States to adopt the Community Policing Option in securing the lives and properties of our people,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, had commended Lalong’s efforts toward tackling security issues in the state.
Represented by the Deputy IGP in charge of Development and Training, Mr Shehu Lawal, he said that community policing was to complement the duties of the Police Force.
He said that other committees to work with the advisory committee were the Area command and Divisional Police advisory committees on community policing, explaining that the later would work with ward heads and local government chairmen.
The IGP said that the committees, which comprise of critical stakeholders such as security agencies, religious and traditional leaders, were to facilitate ownership of the programme and its success.
According to him, the Divisional Police Committee is primarily for community awareness and sensitisation, and the screening of those to be recruited in the communities.
“It is a voluntary service and will not engage hooligans; only responsible persons will be screened, recruited and trained,” he said.
The Gbong Gwong Jos and Chairman, Council of Chiefs and Emirs in Plateau, Jacob Buba, who spoke on behalf of the committee, assured the governor that members would discharge their duties diligently.
He commended Lalong for championing security in the state, while praying to God to guide the committee to facilitate peace.