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Fed police to shakes things up with reform

Following suit with the Security Sector Reform, the Ethiopian Federal Police Commission announced this week that it is stepping up with its reform fervor, remodeling the institution in way that better fits the operational needs of the law enforcement agency and the changing nature of criminal acts in the country.

In this regard, the Commission is undertaking reforms in five major areas namely: human resource, organizational structure, technological capacity enhancement, logistics selection and fulfillment, as well as establishing a legal framework for work relationship with other establishments, said Endeshaw Tassew, Commissioner General of the Federal Police Commission, at a press conference held at the Commission's headquarters, mid-week.

In terms of human resource, the Commission is focusing on improving cadet recruiting procedure, revising and improving training curriculum and manuals. This HR focused reform is said to bridge the gap in knowledge, attitude and skills of members of the police force.

In the category of reforming the organizational structure, the Commission is amending its laws as well as working procedures and directives along with reassigning some 2,600 staffers to leadership positions to improve ethnic diversity. Reform also includes organizing its 10 separate investigation manuals into a single standard document to avoid misgivings emanating from misinterpreting the scattered text.

Furthermore, it is planning to restructure the entire Federal Police Force into five major clusters namely: North, South, East, West and Central clusters, similar to the reorganization took place in the National Defense Forces.

On the other hand, the reform is expected to bring forward a special police division called Customs Police to help fight against the burgeoning customs crimes like contraband and illegal arms trade, which the Commissioner said has become as rampant as buying a vegetable in Ethiopia.

The Commissioner has also mentioned the reform process in regional security forces, which it is expected to execute in collaboration with the military and other stakeholders, involving the improvement of arms as well as developing standard training manuals. The reform and standard for regional security forces targets consistent operational capability.

"Most of these tasks have been completed and they will definitely simmer down the ongoing crisis in the country," Endeshaw foresees.

In terms of enhancing its technological capabilities, the Commission is planning to deploy CCTV cameras into use and also instates plans to have an air wing to be assisted by helicopters and flying drones while on operation. Sniff dogs and Enhanced forensics are also in the planned reform package.

Logistically, the Commission wants to strengthen its crime prevention and deterrence capacity, the Commission is equipping itself with riot police tools as well as arms needed to accomplish the standard. It is also establishing a special force for metropolitan areas to focus on crime prevention tasks around cities. It’s new air wing will also get helicopters and drones.

Finally, a legal framework binding the relationship the Commission will have with other entities like the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and the Defense as well as the Regional Police forces. In addition, this will govern the Commission's relations with foreign entities like the Interpole and other countries' police forces.

The Reform based on a research conducted over the past two years benchmarked experiences from the Sudan, Rwanda, California Police from the US, India, Belgium and Germany.