The Nigeria Police Force has engaged 503 Special Constables for community policing in Nasarawa State to enhance intelligence gathering in tackling insecurity and crime.
Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 4, Jonah John, made the disclosure on Monday in Lafia at a one-day sensitisation campaign on community policing in Nasarawa State.
According to John, 49 of the 503 recruited SCP have successfully undergone training and posted to their various communities in the state to serve.
The AIG added that 454 of the recruited SCP were currently undergoing training at the police Zone 4 Headquarters in Makurdi, Benue State.
Speaking at the event, Peter Yisa-Gana, Inspector-General of Police Special Rapporteur on Community Policing for Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau States, said the community policing initiative was aimed at involving all structures in the society in policing.
Yisa-Gana, who is a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, said the community policing concept under IGP Mohammed Adamu, would go a long way in tackling insecurity in the country.
He explained that the community policing initiative was structured with Commissioners of Police in the state being in charge, to Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in line with the structure of the NPF.
He said the heads of the Police structure at various levels would supervise the operations of the SCP for optimal outcome in securing lives and property.
He added that the SCP personnel have the mandate to suspect, arrest and detain suspects in NPF facilities just like the conventional police.
On his part, Bola Longe, Commissioner of Police in Nasarawa State, said with the commencement of community policing, they were better prepared to deal with criminal elements in the state.
He appealed to members of the public to always give useful information to the police on activities of criminals, adding that the business of ensuring a secured society was a collective responsibility.
Responding on behalf Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, his deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, pledged to ensure the success of the initiative.
Sule said the state government would continue to support the police and other security agencies in order to ensure that the state was safe for citizens to carry out their legitimate businesses without fear.
The sensitisation programme was attended by traditional rulers, Civil Societies Organisations and religious bodies among other stakeholders.