Police Enhance Image-Making Skills To Meet Social Media Challenges

Raymond Ozoji, Awka

Mr Frank Mba, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Force Public Relations Officer, says the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu Abuubakar, desires to bequeath to Nigerians a Police force that is efficient, effective, people friendly and community oriented.

Mba said this in an interview with newsmen after the closing ceremony of a four-day capacity building workshop for PPROs at Golden Tulip Hotels, Agulu in Anaocha   Local Government Area of  Anambra.

He said that policing was a very dynamic profession, its dynamic nature draws from the dynamic nature of the society itself with which is charged to police.

Mba said that the police spokespersons as the image makers are gateway for communication and  information management within the force and very important stakeholders in the implementation  of the national program on community policing.

“The police PROs are the vanguard  of the community policing program, so they are here to be prepared and  equipped with modern tools for  discharging this  core mandate  of theirs and achieving the overall objectives of the Nigerian Police Force.

“They are here to learn, unlearn and relearn so that they can be better in what they do and serve the nation and the people better,” he said.

Mba said that the force would enhance regular training and re-retraining of the police spokespersons because the world has become fast changing in crime mapping and the need to step up.

He said that police spokespersons need to be constantly trained and retrained to be in top shape to do their job considering the fast change in crime mapping and with the era of new media technology, the force need to upgrade.

Mba said that the workshop was planned to inculcate into the officers the capability to factually inform the public about the workings of the force and launder the image of the force as well.

He added, “It is the responsibilities of the PPROs to reposition the Nigeria Police Force and after this capacity building conference, Nigerians would see the swift improvement of these officers,” he assured.

He said the Nigerian police were grateful to Anambra government and people of the state for their warm hospitality.

Mr Ebere Amaraizu, Superintendent of Police and PPRO Enugu State Command, said that the conference was very apt because it fell into training and retraining of officers for effective performance of the officers.

He said that the capacity building would also help the officers to be used to modern day method of interfacing with the public and create effective presentation of the image of the force.

Amaraizu said that the conference also afforded the officers across the country an opportunity to meet and interact and exchange ideas on how best to serve the public optimally with their mates.

Mr Haruna Mohammed, Anambra PPRO, said that the conference  was to prepare the  PPROs across the country on how best to engage in the modern skill of public relations so as to serve the people effectively.

Haruna said that the conference was all important because there was need for capacity building for PPROs in the country to step up to the international best practice since there are shifts from orthodox  way of  public relations to a modern way.

He said that research had shown that “Social media skills like Whatsapp, instagrams, facebook, twitter have been considered as the fastest  and majority of the audience are engaged and the police need to learn the new skills so to relate efficiently with the public.

Haruna said the conference engaged quality resource persons  who  trained  the officers on how to use the modern skills  to reach out to the public effectively in other to bridge the gap of lack of proper communication.

He said that some of the resource persons are Mallam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, president of Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, Mr Chris Isiguzo President of Nigeria Union of Journalists among others.

Mr Ikechukwu Ogu, DSP, PPRO Ekiti State, described the conference as being very timely at the time that the country was in  dire need of factual passage of information to its publics.

Ogu said that the training was information packed  and that his major take home was the need to abide by the ethics of public relations officer by telling the story as it is to gain public confidence.

He said that police image need to be pictured right by the public and it would be possible if the police public relation officers know how to present issues very well in modern techniques to the public.

Mr Bala Elkana, DSP and PPRO of Lagos state said  the conference would assist him to improve himself in handling the population of social media users based in Lagos for effective and speedy dissemination of information.

Elkana said that the knowledge garnered on the use of social media would assist him to reach out to the people under his state very well to relate with  the public in areas of pushing out factual information

“Police officer having skill on how to use social media as a means of passing out information to a larger number of the public would aid in feeding  the public correctly and make them not to rely on fake news,” he said.

Mr Abdullahi Harunna, DSP PPRO Kano state said that the conference had afforded him the privilege to improve on public speaking skills in a more refined way.

Haruna said that the training has given him ideas on how to make the public understand what the police stand for and how to communicate with the people so that they should see police in a good perspective.

He said that a lot were learnt on  how to engage in social media skills for effective relationship between his office and the public so as to get the best out of the people.

Mr Mac Don Odiko  SP and PPRO from Akwa Ibom said that the conference was very resourceful, exposed the officer to see the public as their boss and not as competitors.

Odiko said that the training is an eye opener to them and has created a pact for them to know better on how to write releases, and  address  the public without anxiety.

He said that learning the modern method of public relations through the use of social media was very important in the discharge of their duty as it would aid in the force image laundering.

Thirty-seven PPROs from State commands and FCT and 12 PROs of the 12 police zones in the country and other top officers from Force Headquarters attended the conference  in Anambra and a dinner to wrap up the conference was equally held.

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