The appointment of Dr George Akuffo Dampare as the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) has been overwhelming received as the best Ghana can get at the moment in its quest to maintain internal security.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appointed COP Dampare to take over from James Oppong-Boanuh from August 1, 2021 and this has been widely hailed.
This is because the new IGP has been impressively acclaimed as a consummate police officer with exemplary humility, intellectual prowess, strong adherence to disciplinary etiquettes and the overall capacity to transform the Ghana Police Service into an enviable institution without political interference.
His appointment comes at the time the nation is facing some internal security challenges as well as dangers of cross-border crime and he will need the support of all Ghanaians, particularly politicians to succeed.
Among the numerous personalities who gleefully welcomed the appointment of COP Dampare is the Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Professor Kwesi Aning.
The Professor, who has very critical views about the handling of the country’s internal security, has described the appointment of the new IGP as a signal that things will be done right in the Police Service.
“This is one of the best appointments in a long while and kudos to those who made the decision, and the recommendation. Dr Dampare is driven by a desire to put his personal and professional competencies at the beck and call of the state.
“Dr Dampare, on the Spintex road, on several occasions has stopped people, important people, who have sought to flout traffic regulations because they thought they were in more of a hurry than those who were in trotros”, Prof. Aning told Joy FM on Wednesday.
According to him, Dr Dampare’s promotion “will see police officers standing taller, firmer, their backs straightened, their uniforms cleaner and not taking bribes along the road.
“Those people in the Ghana Police Service have their days numbered because they are the people whose performance will threaten Dr Dampare’s success and he will not accept it”.
Prof Aning said the fact that the COP Dampare is still active in service gives some sort of assurance that he will deliver.
The acting IGP, according to the security expert, has throughout his time in the Police Service, demonstrated the ability to take on those who think they have power.
Prof Aning was optimistic that Dr Dampare will do what is professionally, morally and ethically correct by his personal standards and by the standards of the Service.
“We are going to see an IGP who will be hands on. Who will be in places that people don’t expect him to be without a nine-car convoy, with heavily armed people intimidating guys in the traffic and driving those of us who pay taxes to the state of Ghana off the road”, he stated.
According to Prof Aning, “an IGP who follows the rules that have been made for all citizens of this country is an IGP who will be successful because the public sees him following the rules”.
Ex-IGP Kudalor’s assessment
Another high-ranking personality who has confidence in Dr Dampare is former IGP, Mr John Kudalor.
He has described the new police chief as a good organizer and a level-headed man who is highly driven to achieve set goals.
“We have worked together closely in some quarters in Tema and especially at the Headquarters, and I will say he is somebody who is level-headed, cool, very articulate and also someone that when he is convinced, will carry his dreams through as a very good organizer,” former IGP Kudalor reiterated.
He told Citi News that Dr. Dampare was very instrumental in curbing increasing crime in the Tema region, and also led the nationwide restructuring of the police visibility programme.
“He has been involved in many policing activities, for example the reformation of the visibility programme, he was very cardinal in Tema where we checked armed robbery there and made it a no-go area, and at the headquarters, he was involved in many of our operational activities.
“I will ask him to continue with his cool, not be overwhelmed and with how he takes decisions very cool and doesn’t rush, but carries it through when he is convinced, I wish he continues with that composure and I know that he will deliver”, the former IGP eulogised and urged Dr Dampare.
Mr Kudalor, who served as acting IGP from 2015 to 2016, before serving as the substantive IGP from 2016 to 2017, said all retired IGPs will meet with Mr. Dampare and “give him our full support.”
He said Dr. Dampare will need public support to succeed in acting capacity to be given the opportunity to serve as substantive IGP.
COP Dampare, 51, will become the youngest IGP in the Fourth Republic and the Eighth youngest since independence if he ultimately substantive police chief.
Until his appointment, the Acting IGP was the Director-General in charge of Administration at the Ghana Police Service.
Dr Dampare was the overall Best Recruit at the National Police Training School upon completion of his training in 1991.
He sat and passed the GCE Ordinary and Advanced level examinations as a private candidate in 1989 and 1992 respectively
He became a Chartered Accountant at the age of 25.
He emerged the overall Best Cadet for the 32nd Cadet Officers’ Course at the Ghana Police Academy (formerly, Police College), and won all awards, including Excellence in Professional Police Subjects and Excellence in Academic Subjects.
He is the youngest Acting IGP to be appointed in the 4th Republic.
Having been the Senior Police officer after the outgoing IGP, he is the eighth youngest to be given the position since 1957.
COP Dampare holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Finance and Management from the King’s College, London, University of London, and two Masters of Science degrees with distinction in Accounting & Finance, from London South Bank University, UK and Business Systems Analysis & Design from City University of London, UK.
He has served as Head (Director-General) of almost every department in the Police Service. He has been Director-General for Administration and Director-General for Welfare twice. Also, he served as Director-General for MTTD, Director-General for Research & Planning, Director-General for Operations, Director-General for ICT, Director-General for Finance, and Director-General for National Patrol Department (Police Visibility Department).
He is credited with the idea that led to the establishment of the office of the Armourer-General which serves as the central point for accounting for arms and ammunition within the Ghana Police Service, as well as the establishment of the Service Enquiry Monitoring Unit (SEMU) with the responsibility of managing the GPS disciplinary system.
Dr Dampare is a father of six and a devoted Christian.