When the Botswana Police Service (BPS) celebrated its 135 anniversary on Saturday at the National Stadium, it reiterated its commitment in ensuring the safety of the nation.
Held under the theme ‘Towards a Safer and Secure Communities: 2019 and Beyond’, the annual event, which has turned out to be one of the biggest in the national calendar, yet again attracted multitudes across the age and social divide.
The service dates back to 1884, the time when 100 men were assembled by the British to form Bechuanaland Mounted Police.
But it changed its names from Bechuanaland Border Police in 1885, Bechuanaland Protectorate Police in 1902 and eventually the Botswana Police Force in 1966. It later re-branded to the current BPS in 1997.
Police spokesperson, senior superintendent Near Bagali said in an interview that the organisation has achieved a lot in terms of fighting crime and protecting the nation over the years.
Despite that BPS is still committed to do more in the future.
Bagali also said the organisation transformed over the years from 100 men to being one of the largest government entities in terms of workforce. This, he said, is a sign that government is committed to ensuring that its people are safe and secure.
“We are committed to keeping Botswana safe and free from crime. We are going to work with communities
“We are also committed towards government’s effort in attracting foreign direct investment because we are responsible for keeping investors assets safe and secure hence we started the Safer City project.”
He stated that the police would continue to embrace technology in fighting crime as also evidenced by their newly built forensic laboratory, which is one of the biggest in the region.
Meanwhile, the celebration on Saturday was as colourful and eventful like before.
It started off with President Mokgweetsi Masisi inspecting the ceremonial parade mounted by members of the BPS.
The parade comprising various units mesmerised the spectators throughout the event. After the President’s inspection of the guard of honour, the parade marches followed.
Other activities of the day included tug of war by men and women from the BPS and Special Support Group (SSG).
There was also simulation of crime scene and self-defence, bicycles relay, polka dance, athletics in which BPS, SSG and police college athletes were competing.
The day had an air display in which the police demonstrated how they respond to emergency arrests, and the motorbikes shows.