The Inspector General of Police, John Martins Okoth Ochola has revealed the police have started implementing the new security plan suggested by President Museveni of basing policing on the sub-county.
” The Uganda Police Force management is in advanced stages of implementing the sub-county policing model beginning with Greater Masaka Region, where each sub-county will receive a vehicle, motorcycles, radio and personnel strength of 18.This has been rolled out in this quarter of this financial year,” Ochola said.
He made the remarks on Wednesday during the pass out ceremony for 2717 officers from police and immigration at the Kabalye Police Training School in Masindi district.
President Museveni in 2020 asked police to establish subcounty policing model where each sub county should have a police station with 18 or 20 officers and four motorcycles , two of which are for emergencies.
“What if we had a police station per sub county with 20 police officers? There are around 1600 sub counties in Uganda. That is a force of 32000,” Museveni said then.
He said this model would help deal with criminality, noting that a similar model was used by colonialists.
“Because colonialists didn’t have enough resources, their plan was through chiefs at the parish and sub county. They(chiefs) would call the tenda(police patrol). I closely monitored it between 1951 and 1958 and I could see these people managing huge areas using a skeleton number of officers.”
However, to implement this new security plan, Police would need more man power and funds.
Speaking on Wednesday, IGP Ochola asked the president to reconsider the cap on police recruitment and budget cuts.
“However, in order to achieve all the above, your excellency, we request for your unflinching support and direction on two service delivery challenges of restrictions on recruitment and the worsening Police budget reductions,” Ochola said.
The Police budget was slashed from shs876.4 billion last year to shs845.2 billion this year whereas in order to fulfil this security plan, police need at least 60,000 officers.
They are currently at 53000.
Speaking on Wednesday, President Museveni applauded the police management for making great strides forward.
He said enlisting educated people in the forces makes training easy since they learn faster, applauding the leadership of the police force for this feat.
“When I come to these pass outs, I feel very happy when I see very many young people joining these forces moreover when they’re well educated. This makes training very easy as educated people can learn faster. By 1986, police had remained with only 3000 officers but now are at 53000. This is a very big step. Of course, police should be bigger to equal the UN ratio of 1: 500 people which means police should have 92000 officers but because of the budget constraints, we are slowly moving,” Museveni said.
He expressed happiness that police are not only recruiting more man power but also creating other capabilities that he urged them to maximize.