The profession of law enforcement is not different from others that require an ambitious and productive work force.
Productivity and motivation are important in any organization.
Very many variables can influence officer’s level of motivation including attitude, work environment, and many other factors that may vary according individuals.
Such personal effects may include family problems, financial constraints and negative social experiences. These exhibit significant decline in motivation.
We are living in a society that doesn’t support police but will be quick to crush them for any mistake.
Ugandans used to hold Police to high level of public trust because they expected them to prevent crime, maintain law & order and provide unbiased application of law enforcement.
This trust has since been broken, Ugandans no longer hold police to that high esteem and neither do they feel secure anymore.
For any police officer to be unbiased, he or she must be motivated on the job as lack of motivation is contagious and has caused many security lapses within the Uganda Police force.
The Uganda Police Force has failed to put in place a warning system that would help recognize symptoms and identify Police officers experiencing a decline in productivity or those who have motivation issues.
Much as enhancing motivation of police officers is difficult, It is very much achievable in many ways.
Let us start with the health and physical wellness-The level of health and physical wellness of a police officer has a great effect on the performance and motivation of that officer. A physically fit police officer can easily fight his/her stress level.
If the Police administration takes keen interest in the importance of health and physical fitness, they can easily implement sound strategies that will help improve the well-being of police officers.
Another factor is to do with leadership, this may not be at the top management but at the level of DPC, RPC, and below.
If the leaders recognise the stress that is associated with Police work, they should create a healthy environment where low ranking officers are not subjected to harsh leadership.
Recognition and Praises for job well-done can also help improve officers attitudes and this will help increase the desire for carrying out the day to day operations.
However this must be done with reason and common sense as doing it excessively could easily ruin officers effectiveness.
Inter departmental changes or change in duty assignment-Most police officers in Uganda have served in the same department ever since they joined the force. This affects their performance and motivation is low as they are not open to any new challenges.
Finally I will look at basic essentials such as food, water and shelter.
On average the least paid police of earns 12,000 per day, this is barely enough to sustain an officer with a moderate family.
They barely have places to shelter their families, neither can they place their children in school or even afford medical insurance for them.
The make shift shelters provided to them infringe on their privacy. Where would an officer working under such conditions get motivation to wake up every morning and go to the front line to fight criminals.
Sometimes the increase in crime is associated to such situations that seem to be ignored by those who plan for this country.