• Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:51 pm

ED: Comprehensive police reform is the only way forward

  • Published at 07:34 pm August 17th, 2020
Police
Dhaka Tribune

It is dangerous for all concerned to have law enforcement officers heavily under the influence of narcotics

Our police force has been under scrutiny of late, and with good reason. The horrific culture of extra-judicial killings has made the public wary of law enforcement agencies. Anyone who has tried to get help from the police knows what a tall order it can be, and often, those who seek help end up being further harassed and victimized. Needless to say, police need reform on many fronts, and this job will not be done overnight.

It is good to see, however, that little steps are being taken in the right direction. The DMP commissioner has announced that it will conduct drug tests on members who are suspected of drug use. Police personnel who test positive will be dismissed from the force.

No doubt, it is dangerous for all concerned to have law enforcement officers heavily under the influence of narcotics, which may not only impair their judgment and coordination while on the job, but may cause them to engage in patterns of behaviour that hides their activities from the rest of the police force, thus undermining the process of justice. 

It is also well known that substance abuse is a gateway to various other kinds of abuse -- something all the more alarming when applicable to those vested with authority, and issued weapons.

We must, however, keep our eyes on the big picture. Drugs are a small part of the problem. Our overall goal should be to end abuse at the hands of the police and ensure due process and the protection of human rights. 

It is often said that the police are a friend to the public. Let us truly make it so.

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