COP/Dr. George Akuffo Dampare
Until COP/Dr. George Akuffo Dampare began his nationwide visits to cops enduring various degrees of debilitating health conditions, the reality of this situation was hardly known to most Ghanaians.
While some of these depressed cops are victims of strokes and other forms of ailments others were maimed chasing armed criminals or put alternatively, in the line of duty.
The picture on page 17 in yesterday’s edition of this paper showed the commissioner comforting a cop who had obviously broken down after narrating his story.
It was obvious that the first time that he was being heard by a top police chief from the Police Headquarters was when the Director-General/Welfare visited him to hear his story and assure him of the Police Administration’s support.
Such visits and the opportunities of being heard is enough to obviate depression and related mental conditions suffered by persons in vegetative states or the like. Indeed, the therapeutic effects of a feeling of being wanted through periodic visits cannot be marginalized.
Following the positive effects of the visits, we are unable to suppress the question as to why the sick and maimed cops have been left to their fates over the years.
The greatest way of raising the morale of personnel is to show such affection in times of need as under the conditions some cops are currently.
The list of those requiring such visits and affection is long and we could not but wonder why some of them requiring the services of clinical psychologists have never had such opportunities.
Suicides are common among persons who are abandoned by their family members, superior officers or commanders who should be counseling them with soothing words of encouragement.
For us, therefore, the novelty which the new Director General/Welfare has commenced must be sustained. District and Divisional Commanders must be encouraged to make periodic visits to their officers maimed in the line of duty or even unable to perform their normal duties as a result of debilitating ailments.
The case of the District Commander who was ambushed by a group of criminals in the Nsuta area and suffered bullet wounds on his neck is pathetic. Imagine such an officer abandoned when he suffered his fate while on his way to effect the arrest of dangerous persons suspected to have murdered somebody.
The much needed dedication and commitment to the service of their motherland by law enforcement personnel will only be forthcoming when they are assured of care from the authorities in the event of sustaining injuries in the line of duty.
The absence of such care will only result in apathy and the kind of negative conduct very common among some young officers in recent times.
We would like to use this opportunity to express gratitude to Dr. Dampare for the initiative and to encourage him to walk his talk by providing the sick cops with the support that they would need to make life easy for them.