Be patient with promotions, Shikongo tells officers

Joseph Shikongo

Namibian police inspector general Joseph Shikongo has urged police officers to be patient when it comes to promotions.

He said this at Ongwediva while addressing police officers in the Oshana region last week.

Shikongo said his office receives letters from police officers requesting promotions, saying they have served in the police at a certain level for long with no promotion.

“It does not work like that.

There are channels that are followed. Yes, there are those officers who really have served the force for a long time and have not received promotions, and these are the ones who can be considered,” he said.

Shikongo said promotions “must come naturally”.

“If it is your destiny, it will come. Just work very hard,” he said.

The Namibian reported in December that a total of 4 682 officers have been promoted from 1 December during a first phase of promotions.

This included 2 638 men and 2 044 women, which represent 44% of women in the police.

‘BE KIND’

Shikongo has urged police officers to be kind and friendly with the public when rendering services.

“You can arrest a suspect while you are laughing. Some of us are becoming too aggressive . . . You are a station commander, a unit commander or a shift commander, but you are not accessible to the public,” he said.

Shikongo encouraged officers to be more accessible to the public.

“You are an investigator dealing with a docket and a community member is calling you, and you tell the person to never call you on your cellphone again,” he said.

‘RESPOND TO CALLS’

Shikongo said police officers must answer calls swiftly when on duty.

“You find someone calling a police station seven times and there is no one picking up the call. You go there, you find everyone is just on their phones, Facebooking [sic] and the rest. Where is our integrity?” he asked.

“Do not discriminate against people, but assist everyone, because it is part of our values. People call me and tell me they are asked for payment to be assisted. “It is not part of an organisation we want as members of the force,” he said.

‘BE AVAILABLE’

Shikongo said police officers should serve the public whether on or off duty. “Fight crime wherever you are. If you are three police officers in a location, make sure your area becomes clean. Team up with the community to make the location safer,” he said.

‘USE MONEY WISELY’

Shikongo urged police officers to spend their money wisely.

He said many officers are in debt and engage in gambling.

“When you come home, you are supposed to bring bread, and if you don’t have it, you get angry. When you come home, you just go straight to bed, and when the wife is asking you, what happened, you say, no, it’s just stressful, these people were just abusing me the whole day.

“My dear, it’s the gambling machines that abused you,” he said.

“You must differentiate between wants and needs. Needs are things you can’t live without and wants are too many.

Some of you are sergeants and are already planning to buy the latest iPhone 15 next month. Do you really need it?

“Some of you are borrowing money to go and celebrate your birthday at Swakopmund, but you don’t have money.”

THROWBACK

Last September, The Namibian reported that basic police training will now also include a module on financial and stress management.

The course also covers contemporary policing issues, such as transnational organised crime.

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