Handover Ceremony of Bicycles to Nigeria Police Force at Police College, Kaduna
February 18, 2009
All other protocols duly observed
We are here today as part of our two week American National activities supporting Nigeria and Nigerians in many ways including this community policing project which began more than four years ago. As demonstrated by our investment in this community policing project the people and government of the United States are committed to partnering with the government of Nigeria in its efforts to strengthen the capacity of the Nation's law enforcement agencies for the benefit of its citizens.
The police force exists to serve and protect its citizens and it must therefore be a good friend to its citizens. While trends and patterns of crime may change over time the need for strong cooperation between the police and citizens in catching and prosecuting criminals does not change. Bicycle patrols as part of community policing are one such way in which police and citizens can effectively work together. Police bicycling community patrols have been used in other parts of the world including the United States with huge success. We anticipate similar success in Nigeria particularly in rural areas where communities are often hindered by a lack of resources to purchase fuel for vehicles.
As you know high crime rates in certain communities can be curbed if illicit activities are properly recorded and handled to develop the required intelligence needed to apprehend the perpetrators. This intelligence can also be used to prevent larger crises such as communal clashes by providing swift and accurate response and intelligence on suspected friction before it escalates. The United States Government through the U.S. Mission in Nigeria hopes that this community policing program can be of assistance to Nigerians in this area.
I commend the Nigerian Police force and the people of Kaduna State for partnering with my government on this project. By handing over this equipment we are showing our faith in the Nigerian Police Force to continue working as our partner to achieve our shared goals of peace and security for the citizens of Nigeria a fundamental component of a true democracy.