Henceforth, Nigerian police officers would be compelled to go for yearly psychiatric and psychological tests, says the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase.
The IG also said fresh police recruits would be made to undergo the psychiatric test before being accepted into the force.
Speaking on Tuesday at the validation meeting on the Nigeria Police Force Health Policy draft at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, the Police IG expressed worry over the rate of extra-judicial killings by police officers.
“Sometimes I get very worried when police officers shoot innocent civilians and I keep thinking something can be done. Now we are thinking of taking our officers through psychiatric and psychological tests before we recruit them. Even those who are already with us, we are going to make it an annual thing.”
“The job we do is very stressful, sometimes not everyone can take the heat in the kitchen, and if you cannot take the heat, you don’t go to the kitchen. So, we are working to see how we can ameliorate the trauma they go through.
“I know in the UK (United Kingdom) that if a police officer is involved in shooting, he is removed from core police duties until he is debriefed and he goes through some tests to ensure that he is fit enough to handle firearms. These are what we are thinking of bringing into the system.
“Also, we are planning to build trauma centres because most of our officers go through a lot of trauma. And we should be concerned about their mental well-being. I know the type of pressure officers go through.”