Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday launched the rebranded Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps, with a pledge that the security of lives and property in the State is non-negotiable.
A total of 177 salon cars and vehicles equipped with communication gadgets, 377 motorcycles, 377 helmets, 4,000 bicycles, metal detectors for ensuring that illegal weapons are not smuggled into public places, among other operational equipment were handed over to the Corps by the governor.
Speaking at the official launch held at Agege Stadium, Governor Ambode said the move was another giant step towards enhancing security all over the State and a vital part of the ongoing efforts of his administration to reform the security and justice sector.
The governor, who on August 15, 2016 assented to the law that created the Neighbourhood Safety Corps, said the Corps had been designed to provide a second layer of policing in order to ensure that the state and communities are more secure.
He acknowledged the fact that the Nigerian Police had been very supportive to the State Government especially in fighting crime, but that the need for the Neighbourhood Corps arose from the identified security challenges confronting the State due to huge population, adding that the members of the Corps would complement police especially in areas of community policing.
“Let me, however, make it abundantly clear that the Neighbourhood Safety Corps is not in any way in competition with the regular Police Force.
“In actual fact, they are expected to assist and complement the Police by providing useful intelligence for crime prevention and to facilitate the arrest of perpetrators of criminal activities in our communities,” Governor Ambode said.
He added that in realisation of the fact that nothing can be more important in law enforcement than educating the people in charge of enforcing the law, the rebranded Neighbourhood Corps have been trained and equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to complement the good work of the Nigerian Police.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Oluseye Oladejo, said the launch of the Neighbourhood Corps and the handing over of several equipment to the agency was an eloquent testimony of a visionary government which had decided to move ahead of emerging challenges of crime.