Ver Angola

Opinion

Psychology departments need to be implemented in Angola at the level of police divisions and police stations

Cesário Sousa

Criminal psychologist, writer and vice president of the Research and Biographies Center of Angola (CIBA)

The security commitment is one of the basic rights that is part of the Constitution of the Republic of Angola. However, it is of great relevance that it be exercised by professionals well prepared from the point of view of the principles that guide human life, willing to perform their tasks, with courage, energy, physical strength and not only, but also psychological to support unexpected events and social problems that occur in daily life.

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Under the terms of the Constitution of the Republic of Angola in its Article 210, the National Police of Angola is held responsible for the protection and police assurance of the country.

But, in addition to this responsibility that it has, the population in Angola tends not to be profound in the reflection and deference of what is necessary for the Public Order Officer to perform his duties properly. The indispensable element for police activity is the minds of professionals, hence for the Police to be successful in their activities, it fundamentally needs psychological doctrines for the successful outcome of its mission.

Psychology can assist the police officer in his way of acting and behaving. The contribution provided by the science of behavior and mental processes to the police is one that can assist in obtaining fairer and more balanced results in the correlation between taking the right measures and acting in the face of adverse and contradictory occasions.

The work of public order professionals is characterized as an activity that constantly has strong elements that cause stress. The police in the exercise of their activities work with a lot of pressure, deal with multiple situations of the population and that consequently these situations experienced, can somehow change their way of being and that in the same way can also affect the interaction with society . The Public Order Officer vive often experiences a state of alertness, which consequently can trigger another moment of danger, the high point of "pathological stress". We must understand that there are many elements that can contribute for the "Mental Health" of Public Order professionals in Angola to be compromised, since they spend a lot of time away from their families, they are subjected to a certain scale of exhausting service, and some they look for another activity to increase the family income, the lack of appreciation of their work by society, many times society ends up forgetting that behind the uniform there is a human being who consequently ends up discouraging and depressing the professional due to discontent with his work, and interpersonal relationships themselves.

Due to these and several other problems that directly affect the police and make it difficult to carry out the tasks assigned to police officers, it is important to implement Psychology Departments at the level of Police Divisions and Police Stations, in order to support members of the Police and assist in organizational problems and insufficient procedures by the Angolan National Police.

Within our National Police we have many Agents and Officers trained in Psychology in the most different specialties, namely, Criminal, Forensic and or ̸ Legal, Clinical, Work Psychology etc., which is why we have conditions in terms of human resources to move forward with the construction of these Departments at the level of our Divisions and Police Stations. Hence the need to start creating conditions for professionals in the science of behavior and mental processes to play their roles, which is of great importance in human life. What is actually verified is not the absence of psychology professionals, but rather the lack of conditions for psychologists to exercise their functions.

It is important to mention here the thought of the Commander General of the National Police of Angola, Dr. Paulo de Almeida, who pointed out that: training schools need to improve the teaching of police techniques aimed at self-control. The General Commander of the National Police of Angola Dr. Paulo de Almeida, in a recent approach, recognizes that our training deals more with operational aspects and we have weaknesses in the psychological domain, which is reflected when we go to the field of operations.

Therefore, we need to overcome the weaknesses of the psychological domain that our agents and public order officers have, and this overcoming is done with psychologists and psychiatrists who are Mental Health professionals. Psychology professionals can help to transform the internal and external structure of our National Police, in order to adapt to the new social reality that has emerged with political, cultural and social transformations, we need to found conditions for our police corporation, have the police that society demands these days. The police force that society demands today is the one who manages to deal with problems in order to prevent conflicts and not the one who only sees in coercion the only solution.

With the implementation of these Psychology Departments at Police Stations and Divisions, psychologists will be able to:

a) Suggest police school administrations to introduce psychology as a basic discipline in police training courses.
b) Indicate the number, nature and vocation of police schools and determine the profile of those responsible and trainers, to improve the quality of police training.
c) They can apply psychological tests in order to identify police officers who are at the maximum stress limits, allowing the commanders of the police stations to take appropriate measures for each case.
d) To try to develop seminars and debates in groups to deal with issues related to stress and other psychic pathologies and to establish times for physical activities, as a way to reduce the stress caused by police activity.
e) Establish working hours in order to avoid conflicts with demands and responsibilities not related to work, as well as personal and leisure care in order to allow the police the opportune time to carry out the activity satisfactorily, with the purpose of improving its responsibility and performance in the operational activity.
f) To help improve the social image of the police and propose a better quality of life for police subjects, through adequate supervision and psychological assistance;
g) Helping to reduce the psychosocial impacts on police and those citizens (victims) who use the police station for different reasons and mainly, psychological assistance, which is an aspect of such importance that we do not have these services at police level.

Therefore, Psychologists can contribute to a Public Security reality, starting with those who have the responsibility to carry it out. Psychologists observe how reality works and, through this dynamic, they will be able to subsidize to enhance police action in Angolan society, including promoting citizenship and the potential for dialogue and cooperation. Psychology in Angola is still a field of knowledge that is little valued, but which is gradually gaining its space. It is necessary to look at the importance of the psychologist's role in this environment in favor of aspects that serve as mediators for the psychosocial coping resulting from the aforementioned problems existing in the police, the police and in society. With the presence of psychology professionals in Police Divisions and Police Stations, it is possible to guide police officers to increase their levels of self-control of impulses and emotions in circumstances where there is no need to use force, in effect, directly on society, thus allowing the increase the ability to empathize and manage interpersonal relationships, a sense of authority with control, resistance to frustration, objectivity, initiative, cooperation with society, elements that the Public Order Agent must carry in his daily practices.

Opinion of
Cesário Sousa