Policing with Emotional Intelligence In Nigeria

The public wants a stable officer capable of problem-solving under stress.
During the news at 10pm on Channels TV the news broadcaster Ijeoma Onyeater interviewed Lawrence Aloba a retired Commissioner of Police who mention that Emotional Intelligence is now being deployed in the process of recruitment into the Nigeria Police Force.
In addition here is the take of Pause Factory.
  • Officers can be trained to increase their emotional intelligence when responding to difficult work environments.
  • Officers need to get into the mindset of not taking things personally when they occur on the streets.


When officers become impacted and emotions take over it reflects through the behavior and actions. Staying in control of your emotions can prevent officers from overacting when a citizen is noncompliant.
Training officers on how to increase their Emotional Intelligence (EI/EQ) should start in the academy and be mentored when the new officer transfer to field training. The Field Training Officer (FTO) should be trained in coaching the techniques to improve Emotional Intelligence (EI/EQ) and helping the new officer adjust to the realities of policing.
Experimental learning is a good learning theory to apply the concepts of Emotional Intelligence (EI/EQ) to new officers during their field training.  Officers need to know their trigger during events and situations to stay professional and in control.
With so many conflicts between citizens and police in the news, emotional intelligence can play a role in de-escalating tensions and renewed interest in the Nigeria Police Force by the citizens.
Being able to respond to criminals like bandits, armed herdsmen, militia, cultists, kidnappers, armed robbers etc is a serious issue and one of the reasons that local law enforcement has adopted a military style to protect their officers and communities when violence occurs unprovoked.
The downside to this response solution is that the community feels that their local police department is an aggressive crime fighter and have lost the police department as protectors.
There needs to be a balance to earn respect and trust. Open communication and respect for opposing viewpoints are directly related to the ability to use Emotional Intelligence effectively.
The stress of policing in an “entitlement society” that is looking for confrontation is highly stressful. Officers must learn to develop their Emotional Intelligence and react within the guidelines of the department and the local laws.
We see the news in which an officer has become emotionally engraved in arguing with a citizen and this often turns into a physical confrontation with a third party filming and posting on YouTube. The officer’s actions are already being critiqued before the arrest reports are finished.
Being emotionally mature is a critical trait for an officer to be successful. Learning to recognize triggers, and immediately apply reasoning skills to make a good decision, is one of the most important cognitive skills a police officer can have today.
Emotional intelligence would play an effective role in hiring and screening officers. Also, emotional intelligence training can help them cope with the hazards on work by practicing some competencies that would be the most useful in dealing with interpersonal or group stress.
New police recruits need to pass through reliable and effective psychological tests and evaluations as part of the hiring process.
Part of these evaluations is screening for Emotional Intelligence. The test needs to be evaluated and reported back to the department as part of the suitability and vetting process.
The Nigeria Police Force need to be responsible and if any “red flags” appear in the background investigative process that questions judgment or integrity, the department must pass on this applicant.
Edited by Folorunsho Teslim of Pause Factory
Originally by Sixseconds
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February 4, 2019

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