The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, has said that henceforth, all policemen will undergo snap urine tests to ascertain signs of drug abuse before they could be issued firearms.
Arase disclosed this at the launch of drug testing kits and campaign against sudden death of police officers in Abuja on Wednesday.
The programme was organised by the Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with the Hypertension and Diabetes Awareness Foundation.
He said that apart from denying officers who failed the test access to firearms, the force would wean them from drugs or other psychological problems.
Arase noted that the killing of Nigerians from misapplication of firearms by policemen had made the public to cast aspersions on the police.
“After an in-depth study, my team and I have found out that some of these fatal cases could be due to mishandling of firearms by police officers who are psychologically unfit to handle firearms at that time.
“We have therefore decided that the medical assessment of persons we recruit into the police Force will include a psychological assessment,” he said.
He said that some of these psychological problems could also have resulted from drug abuse by few of the officers.
Arase said that the police had also initiated a policing strategy that would witness the transition of the police from relying on firearms to manage social disorders.
“Orders have been placed for this weaponry and adequate training framework is being put in place.
“My long term vision is to effectively address issues that engender misuse of firearms and give true meaning to our mandate of safeguarding the lives of our citizens,” he said.
He said that the Force had also decided to address the issue of frequent sudden death of police officers from preventable or avoidable health challenges.