Leadership at the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Prisons Service will change beginning Monday, August 2, as two new persons take over the mantle at the two state institutions in acting positions.
Dr George Akuffo Dampare, whose immediate past position in the Ghana Police Service was Director General of Administration, takes over as acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), while the Deputy Director General of Prisons (DDGP), Mr Isaac Kofi Egyir, assumes office as acting Director General of the Ghana Prisons Service.
Last Friday, Mr James Oppong-Boanuh, the then IGP, handed over the flag of command to Dr Dampare at a pulling-out ceremony in honour of the outgoing IGP, a lawyer, who served the service for 33 years.
The 51-year-old Dr Dampare now becomes Ghana’s 30th IGP and is the youngest acting IGP to be appointed in the Fourth Republic and the eighth youngest since Ghana gained independence.
Before him were John Willie Kofi Harlley (February 25, 1966 – September 3, 1969); Bawa Andani Yakubu (September 23, 1969 – June 12, 1971); R. D. Ampaw (June 14, 1971 – January 13, 1972); J. H. Cobbina (January 13, 1972 – September 29, 1974); Ernest Ako (September 30,1974 – July 7, 1978); Benjamin Samuel Kofi Kwakye (July 17, 1978 – June 4, 1979) and C. O. Lamptey – (June 5, 1979 – November 27,1979).
Others are F. P. Kyei (November 27, 1979 – October 6, 1981); R. K. Kugblenu (October 6, 1981 – March 9, 1984); S. S. Omane (March 9, 1984 – June 12, 1986); C.K. Dewornu (June 12, 1986 – December 31, 1989); J. Y. A. Kwofie (January 1, 1990 – September 30, 1996); Peter Tenganabang Nanfuri (October 1, 1996 – January 21, 2001); Ernest Owusu-Poku (January 22, 2001 – July 21, 2001); Nana Owusu-Nsiah (July 22, 2001 – March 23, 2005) and Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong (March 25, 2005 – January 28, 2009).
The rest are Elizabeth Mills-Robertson (acting) (January 28, 2009 to May 16, 2009; Paul Tawiah Quaye (May 16, 2009 – February 1, 2013); Mohammed Ahmed Alhassan (February 5, 2013 – November 9, 2015); John Kudalor (February 19, 2016 – January 25, 2017); David Asante-Apeatu (January 25, 2017 – July 22, 2019) and James Oppong-Boanuh (October 2019 – July 30, 2021).
Prior to this appointment, Dr Dampare was the most senior police officer (in terms of ranking) after the just retired IGP, having served in the service for 31 years.
He joined the service as a Constable in December 1990, aged 20, and rose through the ranks to become Commissioner of Police (COP), 24 years later in 2014, aged 44, a rank he held until his new appointment.
Dr Dampare’s quick rise through the ranks was aided by his completion of various courses and programmes of study, including becoming a chartered accountant and member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
The acting IGP, who was born on July 14, 1970, holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Finance and became a chartered accountant at the age of 25 while serving as a police constable about two decades ago.
The acting IGP assumes office at a time of many unresolved high-profile crimes, as well as a surge in armed robbery and murder, many of which appear to be contract killings, and sophisticated cyber crimes.
He has built himself in the service over the years, having served in many leadership capacities, including Director General (Finance), Director General (Welfare), Director General (ICT) and Director General (Operations).
Egyir takes office
The Ghana Prisons Service plays the important role of keeping jailed convicts and remand prisoners in confinement and also reforming them, after the police had completed their work for the courts to make a determination.
Mr Egyir, therefore, takes office as acting Director-General of the service at a crucial time when the prisons are overcrowded, COVID-19 has rendered prison protocols cumbersome and feeding stipends remain nothing to write home about.
He has the responsibility of leading his team to bring vibrancy into the service, canvass for improved services for inmates and personnel of the service, as well as infrastructural development for the service.
He takes over from Mr Patrick Darko Missah, who took his terminal leave from today, with his retirement from the service set to begin on October 16, this year.
Born in 1964, Mr Egyir is a seasoned Prison Officer who, until his appointment, was the DDGP in charge of Operations.
He has 26 years’ work experience with the service, including a five-year duty tour with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in The Sudan and South Sudan as Corrections Advisor and Military Detention Manager, respectively.
He was enlisted into the service on December 5, 1995 as an Officer Cadet and commissioned as a Deputy Superintendent of Prisons on July 5, 1996.
He also served as the Eastern Regional Commander and Officer in charge of the Nsawam Medium Security Prison, Commanding Officer of the Prisons Headquarters and Officer in charge of the Frafraha Camp Prison.
He also served as the Chief Agricultural Officer of the service.
Mr Egyir holds a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) degree in Animal Science from the University of Ghana; a Master of Arts (MA) in Peace and Development Studies from the University of Cape Coast; a Master of Science (MSc) in Defence and International Politics from the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC); a postgraduate certificate in Agricultural Administration from GIMPA, a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Ghana and others.