Director General in charge of Public Affairs at the Ghana Police Service, ACP Kwesi Ofori, has disclosed that the newly outdoored K-9 unit of the Service is designed to handle the tougher aspect of policing in the country.
According to him, Inspector General of Police, Dr Akuffo Dampare and members of his administration decided to place them as part of “our operational activities” in the country.
He explained that specialized dogs handled by personnel such as “sniffing dogs” are engaged in other search and rescue operations.
“It is a special unit, purposely designed to assist in our combat operations. Therefore, they’ve been well trained and under the operational department. They are purposely designed to handle tougher issues. We have quite a number of them [dogs] but the administration believes that we need to extend it to some of the needy regions for operational purposes”.ACP Kwesi Ofori
ACP Ofori indicated that the dogs used by the Service undergo trainings on “combat operations”. As such, they are special dogs “imported into the system” and trained along with their “handlers” for purposes of policing.
For instance, ACP Ofori noted that for “criminal prone areas”, such dogs are deployed to handle armed criminals.
“We know it is a complex task when using dogs in such operations but they take command from their handlers. And so far, so good, they are very obedient in terms of command… We are giving them various kinds of trainings”.ACP Kwesi Ofori
Safety of the public assured
The deployment of the K-9 unit of the Service follows the commencement of the Proactive Preventive Policing Strategy by the Ghana Police Service to boost visibility of personnel, improve on intelligence gathering and contraband goods.
Elaborating the need for the K9 patrol team now, ACP Ofori noted that prior to the deployment of the dogs, they had the “horse patrols”. However, the current spate of “criminal activities” requires the need for the police to be “proactive” and “positioned to perform some specific tasks”.
He assured the safety of persons who may encounter the dogs in the streets, guaranteeing the “training” of the dogs for specific purposes and not to attack random people.
“They are not there for general tasks; they are for some specific tasks. I believe members of the public should work out this as a way of keeping all of us safe. So far, when they deployed them, they’ve been doing so well and the trainers are also very careful… they are well contained and well directed and there are vehicles also around to make sure that when the need comes, they put them [dogs] in…”.ACP Kwesi Ofori
Commenting on the change in uniform for the handlers of the dogs, ACP Ofori explained that it is a special uniform for the “K-9 unit” and it’s intended to create their “uniqueness” and distinction from other personnel.
“It has been part of our accoutrement… if you go to the police headquarters, those who handle a lot of files in our offices put on the khaki jackets”.ACP Kwesi Ofori