Ghana’s principal law enforcement agency is the Ghana Police Service (GPS). The Ghanaian Ministry of the Interior oversees the service, which employs over 30,000 personnel throughout 651 stations.
The Ghana Police Service is divided into twelve divisions: 10 for each of Ghana’s ten districts, one for the seaport and industrial hub of Tema, and the Railways, Ports, and Harbours Division for the rest of the country. The Marine Police Unit is a separate section that deals with matters related to the country’s offshore oil and gas industry.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) George Akuffo Dampare is the current chief of the Ghana Police Service.
A Regional Commander is in charge of all operational and administrative activities under his control for each of the regional police divisions. The Regional Commander also collaborates with the Regional Operational Commander on direct operational matters. The Regional Commander is supported in his administrative duties by the Assistant Regional Commander.
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All Police Officers wear the traditional police uniforms which are in the colours of blue-black, black and police camouflage; be it office or operational wear with the appropriate headgear for police to align with the core objective of the force to maintain law and order.
Records show that Policing started in the year 1831 in the then Gold Coast. Prior to that, maintenance of law and order was executed by traditional authorities such as local headsmen and chiefs, who employed unpaid messengers to carry out executive and judicial functions in their respective communities. However, in 1831, guarded forts and castles in the Gold Coast.
In 1902, the Gold Coast Police Force was divided into the General Police and Escort Police. The Escort Police was made up of illiterates and semi-illiterates who were employed entirely on guard duties while the General Police was made up of literates who underwent proper civil police training.
All this while, the Police was made up of men or male only. In September 1st, 1952 twelve (12) women were recruited into the Police Service, purposely to handle issues affecting women, children and juveniles who were either victims of crime, missing or allegedly engaged in some form of crime.
This remained until 1957, when the Gold Coast Police Force evolved into Ghana Police Force when Ghana gained Independence on 6th March of the year.
The various within the Ghana Police Service have some slight differences in the uniforms they wear. Below are some of the ranks in the service.
- Inspector General of Police
- Deputy Inspector General
- Deputy Commissioner
- Assistant Commissioner
- Chief Superintendent
- Deputy Superintendent
- Assistant Superintendent
- Chief Inspector
- Lance Corporal
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