Even though the motto of the Ghana Police Service(GPS) is “Service with Integrity”, the general perception among the populace is that police officers are corrupt.
Truth be told, I had for years shared in that perception and harboured that feeling but I have been forced to reconsider my thoughts and realign my negative perceptions about the police service.
On Monday, August 2, 2021, I had a very revealing experience whilst traveling for an urgent assignment in Sunyani, the Bono Regional capital. The general and widely accepted public perception is that police officers have made it a routine to extort monies from drivers on the road, that is, the usual GHC1.
Expectedly, when we got to a police checkpoint close to the Fiapre Roundabout around 7:40 am we were stopped by some personnel of the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) who were on traffic duties but visibly “extorting” monies from drivers using that stretch.
I fumed within but there was nothing I could do as all the other passengers in the taxi cab waited and watched with eagle eyes to observe the usual mastery police officers exhibit when extorting money from drivers.
Predictably, one of them, an elderly man approached our vehicle and asked the driver for his license who handed same to the officer without hesitation. The officer opened the license but quickly removed the money carefully concealed in the license and handed it over to the driver saying “please take your money”.
Strange but this incident happened right before my eyes in this country where police officers do not give small money chance.
I asked the driver why the officer returned the money to him and his response was that ” that is how he is, he does not take money from us”. The disclosure by the driver followed by the subsequent praise and endorsement stunned and sent shock waves down my spine as I could not come to terms with what I had just witnessed.
His actions may look ordinary to many Ghanaians but it does not look ordinary to me as like the late and great author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said: “The little things are infinitely the most important.” I don’t think there is a truer statement in the world. If I reflect on my own life, I have to be honest, it’s the little things that matter far more to me than the big ones”.
Sadly, I did not get the name of the said “pious” police officer nor was I able to record the incident as I was overtaken by the events unfolding before my eyes but he still deserves all the praises in the world.
Yes! the police service may be full of corrupt individuals but there are still men of integrity within.
Officer, I salute your dedication, passion, and integrity to work. May God richly bless you.
Long live Ghana, Long live the Ghana Police Service. Service With Integrity Ampa!
The writer is the Managing Editor of GhanaXtra.Com. You can reach him via email at [email protected] and on phone: 0209391902.