Sixty-seven Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) have been appointed by the Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP Mohammed Adamu as Squadron Commanders across the 67 Mobile Police Squadrons.
Before their appointment, the position was held by Chief Superintendents of Police (CSPs) and Superintendents of Police (SPs).
The IG said the decision to upgrade the rank of Squadron Commanders to ACP was because of the increasingly complex internal security challenges.
He said the upgrade was also aimed at tackling the heightened threat of kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry, cattle rustling, communal clashes and terrorism.
These were contained in a speech by the IG during a meeting with the new Police Mobile Force Commanders in Abuja.
On why they were appointed, Adamu said: “Prior to your mobilisation as Squadron Commanders, Officers of the Rank of CSPs and SPs hitherto held sway in all the respective Squadrons.
“But in consideration of the increasingly complex internal security challenges which have widened the responsibilities of the Police Mobile Force, it was considered expedient to review and standardize the status of Squadron Commanders. This informed the upgrade of the rank of Squadron Commanders to Assistant Commissioners of Police.
“This is part of the broad re-organisation plan envisioned for the Police Mobile Force and it is aimed at strengthening the command and control framework of the Mobile Police Force towards positioning them to respond more potently to the dynamics of crime in the country.”
He continued: “This is considered within the context of the renewed offensive by the Nigeria Police against the heightened threat of kidnaping, armed robbery, banditry, cattle rustling, communal clashes and terrorism.
“As you assumed full leadership of your Squadrons, you will all be expected to draw on your vast operational experiences towards supporting other detachments of the Police in undertaking special operations to mitigate these threats.”
The IG charged the Commanders to be mindful of how Police escorts are deployed, adding that attention should be given to the protection of the general public.
He said: “Our primary responsibility as Police Force is to ensure the safety of the citizens. In doing that, it is imperative to standardize the deployment of PMF.
“A situation where a single individual who is not qualified and has no authority to move about with PMF escort for his or her protection is found enjoying such individualized and specialized police protection is no longer acceptable.
“We must ensure justice and fair treatment to all citizens by way of giving more attention to the protection of the general public. As such, you should remain guided by this new Force Policy in the manner you deploy your personnel.”
The Police chief, while lamenting attack on Personnel on special duties, tasked the Commanders to ensure that personnel are always alert.
The IG also charged the Commanders to embark on local training so as to prepare their men for the challenges ahead.
He noted the training of Squadron Commanders, their second in command as well as Unit Commanders Combat Operation will be given priority so as to enable the Force contend with the various security challenges.
He also assured the new Commanders that the enhancement of the operational capacity of the Special and Tactical Units of the Force is atop the priority of his administration.