We view it as important to execute the law requiring policemen to undergo mandatory mental testing due to the ongoing killings of innocent Nigerians by police.
Police personnel is not allowed to aim weapons at people in the public, according to Section 3 (D) of Force Order 237 of the Nigerian Police Force Continuum Matrix, FCM. However, the repulsive killings of innocent Nigerians have persisted. National peace and security are directly threatened by this affliction of the Nigerian Police Force, which arises from unchecked emotions, corruption, and unprofessionalism, among other things.
Solomon Arase, the former inspector general of police, stated that psychological evaluations and drug testing had been included in the medical evaluation of police personnel and applicants for the Force six years ago, amid a wanton rise in the deaths of innocent Nigerians by police officers.
The need has arisen now to enforce regular medical checkups, including mandatory psychological assessment of all policemen in the country. This involves a series of tests conducted by a psychologist to gather information about how a policeman thinks, feels, behaves and reacts. It is an important personality test in identifying and picking the best applicant for a job as a police officer.
The assessment is also part of a multi-faceted process that includes a basic abilities test, background investigation, a polygraph examination, physical abilities testing and medical screening. It is an accurate predictor of behavior and a valuable tool in the hiring process for policemen, which should be required, even after receiving a conditional offer of employment.
While the pre-employment psychological screening does not determine a police officer’s sanity or lack of it, what it does is to assess the candidate’s suitability for the job. The primary goal of the assessment, therefore, is to ensure that the candidate has the psychological fortitude to handle the unique demands of police work.
It cannot be stressed that the Nigeria Police Force is charged with upholding the law in the nation in accordance with the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution, the Nigeria Police Act, and international agreements.
Police officers are expected to uphold high ethical standards, thus the psychological test is used to weed out applicants who display unfavorable personality traits. We cannot allow the issue of Nigerian police personnel misusing guns to go unchecked.
Every police officer carrying a weapon on the street should not only be well-trained, but also have a psychological fitness certification. The moment is now for police reform. Another responsibility that has to be completed is providing Nigerians with adequate protection for their lives and property. The use of merit in the hiring process is one approach to achieve this.