The U.S. Government has trained 66 officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on fingerprint analysis and forensics.
The training is to modernise the crime-fighting abilities and enhance the skills of the officers on evidence collection.
The two weeks training, organised by the U.S. Embassy, the Atlanta Police Department and the NPF rounded off with an award ceremony in Abuja on Friday.
Ms Rosalyn Wiese, Director, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) at the embassy said the training was an opportunity for officials to learn how to properly collect and document latent fingerprints.
Weise said the Latent Fingerprint Examination course was one of INL’s programmes designed to build capacity in the NPF.
“It is an essential ground level course of instruction that is used as a basis to build further skills in evidence collection.
“Along with more complex courses in crime scene management, INL seeks to support the NPF’s desire to strengthen forensic capabilities to modernise its crime-fighting abilities,” she said.
The Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr Hyacinth Dagala, said the training was coming at “an apt time where we are moving from analogue to digital policing”.
Dagala was represented by the Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration, Mr Moses Jitoboh.
“Experience is only used in analogue policing where we are coming from. This is where officials use what they see and hear to sort out cases and this may not necessarily be right.
“Technology has taken over policing in different forms and the importance of forensics cannot be downplayed.
Aspects of modern policing include intelligence gathering, technology and experience.’’
He also expressed his gratitude to the U.S. Government for its commitment to promoting security in Nigeria through the training of officials.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Mr Chike Nwabuwa, said that the force was working with relevant agencies to collate and effectively access the biodata of Nigerians.
Nwabuwa said that easy access to accurate biodata of Nigerians would give relevance to the training received and evidence collection at crime scenes by officials.
“We have this agency, National Identity Management Commission and we also have the Bank Verification Number arrangement.
“We equally have the road safety facility we do now to have biodata of individuals recorded.
“At our level as the police, we take the biodata of individuals who register vehicles with tinted glasses.
“We also keep records of every suspect in line with the extant law that empowers the police to keep such records,” he said. (NAN)