By Watchdog reporter

President Yoweri Museveni has lauded the Uganda Police for improving their capacity and skills in keeping Uganda safe amidst scarce resources.

Mr Museveni was speaking during the commemoration of the first ever Police Day ceremony held today at Kololo Independence ceremonial grounds in Kampala.

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The occasion ran under the theme ‘Monitoring, Evaluation, Rectification and Building the Uganda Police Force’. The ceremony was also a culmination of the Police Week that began on 27th September 2016 focusing on community policing under the Principle of ‘Neighborhood Watch’.

Police Week was initiated in October 2014 during the 100-year plus celebrations of the Uganda Police. It is now held every year across the country to celebrate and showcase police activities, build bridges across communities, promote partnerships with citizens, among others, to ensure that law enforcement is realized.

President Museveni said that the concept of community policing was good because it made Police work easier. He added that government can support the crime preventers through making sure that they attain a certain percentage share when there is new recruitment for Police, as long as they have the required qualifications.

He further noted that if the crime preventers formed SACCOs, the Government would support them by injecting more funds into those SACCOs. Mr. Museveni also advised the crime preventers to participate in Operation Wealth Creation project in order to become wealth creators as well.

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Regarding consolidating Police capacity, the President said that government is coming up with a universal electronic computerized system where it will register all Ugandan citizens’ finger prints, blood groups, including the new born children, such that it is easy to detect and identify criminals in the communities. He also assured the Uganda Police Force that government is going to improve the Police forensic laboratory and install Closed Circuit TV cameras in major towns of the country to reduce on crime rates.

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Jeje Odong, lauded the successful activities of the Police during the Force’s Week saying that the activities that were undertaken have encouraged the communities to be involved in watching out for each other and ensuring safety in their localities. He added that Community Policing is a practical and pragmatic realistic direction particularly in Uganda because the country is still short of the adequate Police Force. He noted that Community Policing goes a long way in helping to bridge the gap.

The Inspector General of Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura, thanked President Museveni for his endorsement of the concept of Community Policing way back in 2014 adding that the success of the programme was dependant on the President’s passing out of different Crime Preventers across the entire country.

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“We have been able to mobilize 11 million Crime Preventers in a time of one year across the entire country,” he revealed.

The Uganda Police Force exhibited competencies and skills from the different units that included martial arts, sports, health services, child and family protection, traffic and road safety, fire prevention and rescue services, VIP protection, canine police, construction department, police jazz band, Air Wing and marine, among others.

Present at the ceremony were Ambassadors of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Algeria, Burundi and Ireland, Internal Affairs Permanent Secretary, Mr. Stephen Kagoda as well as Senior Uganda Police Force Officers, among others.

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