President Paul Kagame has called for continued cooperation between citizens and the Rwanda National Police (RNP) given that peace and security have been the foundation of the progress and wellbeing achieved by Rwandans over the last few years.
The Head of State was speaking yesterday in Kigali as he officiated at the celebrations to mark the 17th anniversary of the Rwanda National Police, which took place following the pass-out of officer cadets.
He thanked Police for having become a professional force in less than two decades having been formed in 2000 and its continuous resolve to professionalise further.
"It's obvious that our Police is relatively young and it's still building itself but I would like to thank you for the good job you do as you also continue to build yourselves," the President told top members of the police force, who were joined by thousands of citizens at Stade de Kigali in Nyamirambo for the celebrations.
He also urged citizens across the country to continue their partnership with the police to fight crime and promote more safety in their communities.
"The Police cannot succeed when working alone but it can achieve its goals when working in collaboration with citizens," Kagame said.
Kagame added that the progress Rwanda has achieved to date and the wellbeing of the citizens of Rwanda are founded on security and stability.
Preceding the anniversary celebrations, the Rwanda National Police commissioned 363 officer-cadets, who all graduated at the rank of Assistant Inspector of Police.
The graduation followed about ten months of training, having started their course in August last year at the Police Training School in Gishari, Eastern Province.
Over that period, the officers underwent special drills as well as practical and theoretical lectures to shape them into officers with skills that are relevant to the force's ambitions.
They covered both theoretical and practical courses in police operations and techniques, leadership, command and management, as well as skills at arms and drills.
"Considering the package they received and professional values instilled in them, there is no doubt that they will contribute a lot in making sure that people in Rwanda are safe, involved, and reassured," Vianney Nshimiyimana, the commandant of Gishari Police Training School, said.
Nshimiyimana urged the commissioned officers on diligently providing their services to citizens and always staying loyal to the values and skills learned at the police training school.
"The pass-out is not an end in itself. It's rather the beginning of a long, hard, and challenging work ahead," he said.
Yesterday's celebrations were a chance for the police force to reflect on its milestones, achievements and strategies such as cooperation with the general public and bringing about more peace and safety in the country.
The celebrations also marked the end of Police Week, a month-long exercise of community outreach activities that is held every year.
This year's drive focused on connecting solar energy to thousands of households, providing clean water to different communities in the country, building bridges and community roads, and holding anti-crime campaigns among other activities.