Ojora: Our goal in LETI is to standardise law enforcement
The Head of Law Enforcement Training Institute, (LETI), Lagos, Prince Adewale Taoreed Ojora, in this chat with GBENGA SALAU spoke on setting good standards for law enforcement in Lagos.
Can you give a brief on the activities of the agency you head, Law Enforcement Training Institute, Lagos?
It was a creation of executive order in 2013, though it started operating in 2012. Of course, we are saddled with the sole responsibility of ensuring a qualitative and standardised training for all the law enforcement officers of Lagos State Government. Specifically, we train officers of Lagos State Traffic Management Auhority, (LASTMA); kick Against Indiscipline, (KAI); Vehicle Inspection Service, (VIS) and the old Neighbourhood Watch, officers of the Fire Service and all other law enforcement officers of Lagos State Government.
From 1999 still date, we have had improvement in the enforcement of laws in the state. And part of LETI functions is to set recruitment standards for officers to be engaged in law enforcement in Lagos and facilitate the implementation of the standard.
We are also to prescribe training curricular and training cum induction for newly recruited officers. We are also to prescribe ethical and disciplinary standards, including monitoring the implementation of those standards. We are a member of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standard and Training in the United States of America, a global body for law enforcement. We are the only state in Nigeria and second in Africa that is a member of the group and it has over 200 members globally.
We also engage in consultancy service. Our watchword has always been professionalism and integrity. And the institute has been equipped to ensure that we provide qualitative and standardised training programme for law enforcement officers in Lagos in line with best global practices.
We organise regular training and refresher courses for our law enforcement officers to get updated and new trends in their field.
The Institute is domiciled under the Ministry of Justice. And the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state has been very supportive too, as he shares our vision and dreams. And I think with him and the governor, LETI will go places.
In drafting your curriculum, what are the yardsticks you consider?
We have a well-established research and development unit of the institute, which is saddled with the development of curriculum to ensure that it meets the yearnings of the people. And we fashion our curriculum to suit the different cadre of officers. What we give the junior officers is not same with that of the middle cadre officers, which is also different from that of the senior officers. We ensure that whatever we offer each category of officers, it is relevant to their task and suits them.
The governor during the flag off of the last set of training talked about upgrading the institute to an academy, what difference would that make?
It would change the face of law enforcement training in Lagos State and by extension in Nigeria. Transiting from an institute to an academy would be a dream come true for me, because immediately I came on board as the head of the Institute, I looked at the vision and that is where I wanted to go, seeing the Institute become an academy.
This is because that is one good way to enhance our training programme. Any training for law enforcement officers ought to be residential, but it is not at present. A residential training would afford the opportunity to impact fully on the participants of each training programme and that would aid getting the maximum benefits of the training programme.
In principle, we are just three years old, but then we have moved so fast with what we offer that you wonder if it is just a three years old institute. And we are praying and are sure that we would transit into an academy very soon. Of course, it is something to be proud of when the transition finally happens, as it will be the first in Nigeria. And with this, we would run certification courses and other states could send in their officers for training here. So, it is just the way to go for us.
Do you get feedback after a training programme and how?
What we do is that, at the end of a training programme, we sample the opinion of the participants and thereafter do post training analysis on the officers in the field. We go round the entire city of Lagos to monitor officers in the field to check how they are implementing some of the things they had learnt from the Institute.
We also sometimes implore the citizens and residents to send feedbacks to us, we also do random sampling of opinions. We also engage the trainees in sharing field experiences.
What is your dream for the agency?
I want to leave behind a world-class enforcement academy and if that is achieved, I would be a fulfilled person, as I could beat my chest to say I came, saw and conquered.
And the governor has been very supportive and it shows his level of commitment. He has scored hundred percent as far as I am concerned, with his commitment of ensuring enforcement officers are well trained and civil. Looking into the future, we are going to surpass what we did this year, as he has given us everything needed to function well.
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