The Gambia Police Force (GPF) is no longer a safe-haven for school drop-outs. It is one of the government units that are absorbing some of the University of The Gambia graduates.
Today, most of the senior officers in the police are young people, below 40. Since their arrival, according to an insider, a lot has changed in policing. They are said to have higher levels of education and a better understanding of what GPF can contribute towards the safety of Gambians.
Ansumana Kintehis among the first group of young officers manning important positions in the police. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Ghana. Originally from Jarra, he was the head of human resources and now in Liberia on a peace keeping mission.
Another prominent young officer is David Kujabi – a graduate of the University of The Gambia. After a brief stint as a teacher, he joined the police. Currently on a peace keeping mission in Sudan, David was the public relations officer whose work impressed even the Gambia Press Union - the first police PRO to receive praise in a GPU press release.
One of the brightest young women in the police, Sireh Jabang is currently doing her Master’s Degree in a top Swedish university.
The Inspector General of Police’s personal assistant, Mustapha Ndong just returned from Rwanda with a master’s degree.
Other young people in the police leadership include: Lamin Njie – acting public relations officer, Buba Ceesay – commander at the Fraud Unit, Abdou Ceesay – OC Farefenni, Momodou Sowe –OC Serre Kunda, Mustapha Sowe – OC Kanifing Division and Lamin Bojang – former OC CIU presently in Darfur.
According to an insider, the police is the biggest and fastest growing security unit in the country. Every year nearly 600 young Gambians are recruited.
Currently, they have more than 70 officers with university degrees, 15 of them are post graduates. Some of the bright senior secondary school certificate holders are also encouraged to further their education at the university with funding from the police.
However, there are some critics who are against the fast-track-to-cadet scheme which is responsible for attracting degree holders to the police. According to them, operational decisions should be made by officers with long experience in police operation.