Police in Kampala, Uganda has embraced community policing, a model that focuses on building relationships and collaborating with those they protect and serve.
Kampala Metropolitan Police has realized that the public’s perception of safety is not measured in criminal enforcement actions, so police is starting to move away from measuring success by how many arrests they make.
Community policing is how a free society is to be policed and it’s believed that successful community policing reduces crime and greater job satisfaction.
“Community policing isn’t about walking around waiting for residents to commit crimes. Instead of looking for people to arrest or monitor, officers should become community organizers of sorts who bring people together to solve problems, “Commander Kampala Metropolitan Police CP. Moses Kafeero Kabugo said.
Defining Community Priorities
A big part of community policing involves working with residents to identify which crimes to prioritize. In some cases, that solution may mean de-emphasizing certain statute violations and prioritizing more important matters.
In Kisenyi a city suburb under Old Kampala Police Division for example, based on community feedback, officers have began tackling the social problems that lead the youth into committing crimes like drug consumption.
CP. Kafeero said that in a community policing model, officers don’t tell residents what their problems are but rather the residents tell police how they need them to help
Police in Kampala is therefore strengthening this move of community policing as an effort in civic engagement and greater officer discretion that eventually ends in greater public safety, increased satisfaction and trust.