Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase has said the country’s police force is considering compulsory psychiatric test on recruits and serving officers who carry firearms.
Arase reportedly said the proposed initiative is necessitated by incidents of indiscriminate use of firearms by members of the force.
The Inspector-General made the announcement at the Nigeria Police Force Health Policy Revalidation meeting in Abuja and added that, “the Police should be concerned about the mental health of officers,” the Vanguard reported.
“I get very worried when police officers shoot innocent civilians and I keep thinking can’t something be done. Now we are thinking of taking our officers before we recruit them through psychiatric and psychological test. Even those who are already with us, we are going to make it an annual thing,” Arase was quoted by This Day Live saying.
The psychiatric evaluations are expected to ensure that police officers are mentally and emotionally fit to perform their duties.
The proposal is a welcome development, which highlights the police authorities’ realisation of the need for stricter background checks and investigations into serving police officers and recruits to ascertain whether their behaviour and personality types are suited to work in law enforcement.