Thursday, July 16th marked a historic and prestigious occasion for the Botswana Police Service (BPS) when they staged a pass-out parade for the first batch of officers, who enlisted with BPS from Local Police Force, graduated into the BPS.
Giving a keynote address, the Commissioner of Botswana Police Service, Thebeyame Tsimako, said that the day was a momentous and prestigious occasion.
The pass out parade, he said, was not a regular one but was a special one in the sense that 147 trainees, who are former members of Local Police Force, completed their straining and were graduating.
Tsimako further noted that, as part of the implementation of the Botswana Police Service and Local Police Force merger, the BPS took over the training of these graduates in February 2009.
The graduates had started training last year in September 2008 at the then Local Police Training College in Kanye.
Tsimako went on to say that all the graduates were taken through the normal BPS recruitment conditions.
“Section 9 of the Police Act CAP 21:01 lays the conditions for one to be employed as a police officer and before their actual attestation, the trainees had to be vetted and medically examined so as to determine their suitability for enlistment into the BPS,” he said.
“The vetting of the entrants also has a legal backing and is necessary to ensure that we do not employ people with criminal backgrounds since their employment will defeat our professional ethics as well as tarnish the image and the integrity of this organization,” he added.
The commissioner commended the Government of the Republic of Botswana for having taken a worthy decision to merge the BPS and the LPF, saying the two had a similar mandate of promoting safety and security.
“The decision could not have come at a more opportune time than now, considering the fact that though the two police organizations have been operating different Ministries, they have a similar mandate,” he said.
He added that under the Pillar for a Safe and Secure nation, the Vision advocates for the integration and development of the training for both police organizations, hence the merging would ensure better utilization of both human and material resources in an effort to curb crime.
Tsimako further described the merging as a noble initiative aimed at helping them carry out their duties more diligently and meticulously.
Welcoming the graduates to BPS, Tsimako urged them to feel free and interact with other colleagues and also to commit themselves into the service and also to take it to greater heights.
“I believe that each one of you has acquired, during your pre-service training, the requisite knowledge and skills that are essential for contemporary modern policing.”
He stated that modern policing is not just about crime fighting but also dictates the provision of quality services and reinforcement of public trust.
The Commissioner pleaded with the community to help them succeed in the fight against crime.
“We require strengthened and formidable strategic partnerships with the communities that we serve in order to defeat these criminals and their wicked activities,” he said.
He urged the graduates to act responsibly and to take part in the HIV/AIDS and multiple concurrent partners’ initiative.
“You are encouraged to support new initiatives such as the promotion of male circumcision and the campaign against concurrent partnerships,” he said.