Over 500 officers of the Botswana Police Service (BPS) are expected to have resigned before the end of the year.
The worst hit is the Sir Seretse Khama Airport Police Station at which about twenty officers have already tendered their resignations, with most of them already serving their one month’s notice.
Information passed to The Sunday Standard suggests that the SSKA Police Station has a total number of about 100 officers and 50 special constables who are currently serving at the station.
About 78 police stations throughout the country will experience a mass exodus of both junior and middle rank officers.
It is understood that most of them are expected to join the newly established Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana as security personnel.
Speaking to Sunday Standard on Friday, the Public Relations Officer of the BPS, Senior Superintendent Dipheko Motube, said, “I only know of a particular police station, the SSKA Police Station, where about eight officers have already tendered their resignations, all at the same time.”
He added: “It is rare that eight officers from the same station resign on the same day and in such huge numbers.”
Motube said four of them are from the Criminal Investigation Department while the rest are from general duties.
He said the eight officers are on one month notice and will quit the service at the end of September this year.
When asked about the 500 officers that are expected to resign from the service, he replied, “I am not aware about that number.”
He said although he does not have ready statistics with him, he has to check with other police stations as to how many officers they expect to resign.
He further said BPS spends a lot of money training its officers and it is therefore a blow to lose officers they had trained.
“We try to convince those who want to leave the organization but if somebody tells you that he or she had found greener pastures, there is nothing we can say,” he said, adding that they normally address issues that concern the police officers.
Mothube said that in the past years, the BPS lost well experienced officers to the private sector, especially senior officers.
He said people should not panic about such resignations and assures them that the BPS will still be able to carry out their duties of protecting the public.
However, some officers, who opted to remain anonymous on fear of victimization, told Sunday Standard that “our progression as junior officers is very slow”.
“I have been a constable for almost fifteen years,” said one officer, “but my seniors have not told me why I am not progressing to the next rank.”
He added that he worked very hard but his love for his work yielded him nothing during the 15 years that he remained in the force.
The officers said that if such offers came, they would leave the BPS because sometimes loyalty does not pay.
The officers further predicted that in the next two years, the BPS will be paralyzed by mass resignations and the service will be unable to deal with the escalating criminal activities because of shortage of manpower.
So far, there are about 10 000 police officers nationwide.