Although the newly appointed Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor has the prerogative to make changes within the service, the changes should not escalate tension and trigger animosity amongst senior officers.
Indeed, occasional reshuffles within the service are healthy as it keeps officers on their toes, and ensures the right men are put in charge of appropriate units of the service. It is worthy to note that few commentaries that I have heard so far suggest that the new shake up is fair. One such is by renowned security expert, Dr. Kwesi Anning who has described the changes as good but I disagree!
I believe the IGP should exercise caution and not activate the chaos button within the top hierarchy as some of his new changes may engender disaffection, erode gains made by his predecessor and arouse insubordination.
My words of caution are grounded in a number of factors. Notably, Rank Feuds that I envisage can serve as a catalyst for insubordination as well as the possible disengagement of key roles in the Police management.
Firstly, the IGP has scrapped Public Affairs as a top management function, by removing DCOP Ampah Benyin as Director General. Superintendent Cephas Arthur who is already the Director for Public Affairs remains in the same role, so nothing new.
I think it is a blow for the unit because Supt. Cephas Arthur will continue to play a phantom role especially since a superintendent doesn’t carry the same authority as a DCOP. Hence he wouldn’t take part in key management decisions like a Director General would.
Superintendent Cephas Arthur I must say has played a very active coordinating role at the Public Affairs Directorate but hasn’t been that forthcoming in providing up to scratch details when pushed to the wall by journalists.
What’s worse, is that, he is not likely going to be actively engaged at high level management meetings like that of the police council or police management board which is mostly limited to senior officers like COPs, DCOPs, and a little number of ACPs. Meaning decisions will only be taken at the top and communicated to him for implementation making his communication more difficult.
I also have issues with the appointment of DCOP Tetteh Yohonu who is now the Director General for Operations. The position of D-G Operations is a key top management role of the Police service. In fact, it’s the commanding wing of the Police.
Hence very often, D-G for Operations is given to a very senior police commissioner. That is why the current IGP was in that post prior to his appointment. Those in that capacity act as 1st deputy IGP. So it is unclear why, that post would be given to someone who is not a full commissioner but a DCOP.
Again in that position, mind you, you command a lot of authority, and issue instructions/ directives, and all major operations are channeled through you, so how are his superiors (full commissioners- COPs) going to take this? In every security agency, like the police service, ranks, command and respect are highly revered, so it is important to avert chaos within the top hierarchy.
Are serving commissioners going to report to or take directives from him? It is on record, that all past DG- Operations have been full commissioners. Past Directors General for Operations, have acted as 1st deputy IGP with D-G Administration as 2nd deputy IGP. Does this in any way imply that a Deputy Commissioner of Police will be acting as a deputy IGP ahead of commissioners (COPs)?
Similarly, DCOP Ransford Ninson who was the Central Regional commander has been appointed the Director General, Administration of the Police. As I indicated in the preceding paragraph, Administration is a key top management position which subtly doubles as a deputy IGP role, hence the need to pay attention to whoever is put there.
Putting a deputy commissioner in that role will undermine other higher ranked officers. It is important to note, that, administrative role is a commanding one and will require the hands of a senior commissioner.
MTTD- The past IGP, Mr. Alhassan created the Motor Traffic and Transport Directorate (MTTD) from the former Motor Traffic and Transport Unit ( MTTU), an upgrade of what was just a motor traffic and transport unit to a directorate status and also it given a top managerial role. Therefore, the promotion of ACP Awuni to a DCOP rank was in line to enable him take key decisions at the top, making him a Director General from the position of just a director.
Now that Mr. Awuni is heading to the Eastern Region as commander, DSP Obeng who is a Director in charge of Research at the MTTD will act till the substantive, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, (ACP) takes charge. Just look at this rank disparity.
Obviously he can’t take any serious decision because of his rank. Same as Cephas Arthur, decisions would be taken from top hierarchy and passed on to him. Again, implementation will be a problem since he would have to issue directives to regional commanders who are DCOPs (his superiors). This will gravely affect gains chalked by the MTTD and its operations.
I trust that all the above are critical issues which need to be addressed by the new IGP to ensure animosity and insubordination do not find their way into the Police top hierarchy. All said and done though, I want to congratulate Mr. John Kudalor for his deserved new role. He has demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that indeed, he is the man for the job.
Long live the Police Service, God bless Ghana.