Rwandans seem to really love their police force. One of the things I noticed while we were there in April was that the police have a big focus on building relationships with ordinary people.
When there is Umuganda – the once-a-month community work day that happens across the whole country – the police help out. They also have a police soccer team and have a very strong and growing number of female officers. Police are seen as important and are genuinely respected for their vital role in keeping ordinary people secure and building a safe community in the years since 1994.
We met with two very high level officers, including the High Commissioner for Police, and they were really happy to tell us about the community policing policies and activities. We also saw it on the streets – the friendly and approachable police out and about – and heard it from our Rwandan friends: the Rwandan National Police are the friends of ordinary Rwandans. From what we saw, they provide ethical leadership, reliability and reassurance, have zero tolerance for corruption and provide tangible help to communities.
I noticed the short article below in the New Times today and thought it was worth sharing.
“Rwanda National Police will engage in activities aimed at helping the vulnerable citizens across the country, during the upcoming ‘Police Week’ that is scheduled to start on Monday. It will close on Sunday, June 16. The Police Week will also coincide with the force’s 13th anniversary celebration.
The force plans to reach out to residents, especially those that have been identified as disaster risk zones, focusing on their respective needs and helping them.
According to the Police spokesperson for Kigali City, Urbain Mwiseneza, the force plans to reach out to residents, especially those that have been identified as disaster risk zones, focusing on their respective needs and helping them. Besides reaching out to the vulnerable, other activities lined up during the police week include road safety campaigns and other crusades against Gender Based Violence and domestic violence, drugs and sensitisation about fire outbreaks.”
You can also check out the Rwanda National Police website, which gives lots of details about their activities and policies.