Badmos: I’m proud of my job, it helps to save lives
Woman superintendent of Police (WSP), Dolapo Badmos is the second image-maker and spokesperson of Lagos State Police Command. The officer says has a zero tolerance for injustice and intimidation of the helpless. She spoke on her passion for community policing with ODITA SUNDAY.
What is your vision for the public relations department and the Command?
I tell people that I am like a bridge between members of the public and the Lagos State Command. The police talk through me to the public, while they also talk through me to their police in Lagos State Command. In a nutshell, I am here to serve the public, as well as the police organisation.
What motivated you to join the Police Force?
Let me first say this: I was forced to join the Police Force because the job never crossed my mind. After graduation, I did not lack job offers. The process of joining the force started two months after I finished my NYSC. I have an uncle, who wanted so much to be a police officer, but he didn’t get the opportunity. So, he did all the necessary things to get me into the Police Force and I look back today with no regrets. If there were any other job I would like to do in another world, it would be the police job. Actually, I had wanted to be a medical doctor. This is because while growing up, I always looked for ways to learn and lend a helping hand to people.
As a doctor, I would have been able to protect and save lives and such things. But I never got to do that, as man proposes but the good Lord disposes. He gave me policing job as a career instead, and I have been able to still achieve my vision of protecting lives. I like saving people. I don’t like seeing people cheated or terrorised. If I had pursued the medical career, I wouldn’t have achieved so much as I have done in the police. Being a police officer, I am able to do much more than I would have done as a doctor. I don’t have any regrets at all. I am enjoying my job.
What has been your observation of public perception of the police since you assume office?
From all indications, a large number of people in Lagos State are still hostile to the police. Occasionally, people might have had unpleasant experiences in the hands of policemen, just like other security agencies, but what we are preaching is that members of the public should know that the Nigeria Police is no longer what it used to be.
The Lagos State Police now under our boss, Fatai Owoseni and the police generally under the Inspector General of police, Solomon Arase, are being trained and retrained to do that which is expected of them. We are very committed to the entrenchment of human rights. In fact, the IG constantly sends a reminder that for us to succeed, the first thing we should do is respect human rights, value life, protect lives and property and such things. I can tell you that his philosophy is to raise the standard of the Nigeria Police to what obtains in other parts of the world. To have police officers, who would do that which is expected of them.
What are your Public Relations plan for the Command?
I want to ‘sell’ to the public the fact that they now have the Police Force they have always desired and craved. The police that would protect the lives and property of their fellow countrymen with passion. A Police that is transparent, and that would be accountable for their actions. If a police officer does well, we would praise him and if he or she goes the other way, we would equally make him/her face the consequences.
The Commissioner of police in Lagos State is striving daily to ensure that policemen in the Command conform to international standards of policing all over the world. We are entrenching discipline in the Command in line with the vision of our boss, the IGP.
Recently, there was public outcry that crime is on the increase in Lagos. What is your view on this?
I disagree with that observation in the sense that about two weeks ago, during a town hall meeting, where the CP of Lagos State Command was also in attendance, Governor Ambode said that crime rate in Lagos State had dropped by 65percent. And you know the governor is the Chief Security Officer of Lagos State. Crime rate is not at an alarming rate in Lagos State. Lagos is a cosmopolitan state and you have a whole lot of people living here. A lot of people want to live in Lagos and crime is expected in a cosmopolitan city.
But what the police are doing is to bring it to the barest minimum and ensure that at least, what we record is infinitesimal. We have been doing that and we would continue to do that. Some people would just sit down in their rooms and put out some things on the social media for public consumption. Social media makes information travel fast and wide and you would discover at the end of the day that it is just a fictitious story. We implore people to report crime and criminality to the police and not on the social media. Police institution fights crime and not the social media.
What has been your most challenging moment in the Nigerian police?
There have not been too many challenges for me in the police, though the job is tasking. If you want to deliver, you have to go through the rigours just like any other police officer in any part of the world. It is a very, very tasking job.
You seem proud of the police uniform…
Yes, I am proud of the police uniform because it is not one uniform anybody can put on. It is for a chosen few. It is for those that have decided to give their lives to saving others; people who have signed to protect others’ lives and property. It is a great duty, and not for every Tom, Dick and Harry. The training itself takes 18 months to complete. You would agree with me that 18 months is no joke.
Has any case ever given you sleepless nights?
That should be the case of a three-year-old girl. Since joining the Police Force 14 years ago, I have never shed tears, but that particular case made me do so. This girl was bequeathed to her auntie, who had been barren for 10years. The girl’s father was the woman’s elder brother. And this woman said because the three-year old girl often defecated on the bed, she started beating her from 1am till she got tired. As if that was not enough, this woman I tagged ‘wicked,’ hit the little girl’s head on the wall and the girl fainted. It was the woman’s landlord that decided to report the matter to the police.
The case was reported to me at Isokoko Police Station, where I was the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and I said they should go and rescue that child. When they brought her to my office, she could no longer walk or talk. I cried at the sight of that baby. I mean I wept like a baby. It was so pathetic and immediately I called on a group in the Governor’s office, which took over the child. Lagos State government took over the case and took the child to the hospital. We made sure that the woman was charged to court. As I am talking to you now, she is still in Kirikiri Prison because the court refused to grant her bail.
What is your favourite food?
I am not such a food person, as I eat anything that comes my way. But as an Ekiti girl, I like pounded yam. An average Ekiti person would tell you that pounded yam and vegetable soup give you the needed treat. I enjoy it, when it is pounded with mortal and pestle, because I am an Ekiti girl to the core.
How do you combine family and work?
My work is quite tasking. I must confess to you that it is very tough, but what gives me respite is that I have a very supportive husband, who is always there for me. He encourages me and urges me on. He is always in charge of the home front. I also have my big auntie, who also takes care of my children. She does more than I would do. I salute my children, they are very understanding and it makes it easier for me.
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