For the police to be able to discharge their core mandate of safeguarding the population and their property, it is important they work closely with the same people they are supposed to protect.
This was the message that Johnston Busingye, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, had for the 1,342 police constables, who were passed out on Monday at the Police Training School Gishari, Rwamagana District.
The constables, who were part of Intake 15, joined the course after a 10-month basic training course at Gishari PTS.
"The police you join are in charge of security of people and their property, your job, specifically is to prevent and fight against anything that could harm the security of the people," he told the police officers.
He said that this cannot be achieved without good working relationship with the population, adding that much has been done in this regard and all they have to do is to build on the foundation that has been laid.
"A day like this is a good opportunity for us to look back and remind ourselves where our country came from, where it is today and where it is headed.
"Insecurity, for serious crimes, discrimination were the country leadership's working style," he pointed out.
"Today, the security, peace and development we have was fought for and achieved, but at a high cost that included people sacrificing their lives," he added, urging the officers to always be mindful of this.
Busingye added that the duties of the national police do not end in Rwanda, saying that thousands of Rwanda National Police officers are currently serving in peacekeeping missions across the world.
Countries with a large number of Rwandan policemen and women are Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Haiti.
"What we ask the new members of police is to put more efforts in such activities that Rwanda is involved in, which brings honour to our country," he said.
He urged Rwanda National Police to continue being "exemplary" in ensuring the laws of the country are respected by all.
The PTS commandant, Commissioner of Police Vianney Nshimiyimana, said the course started on August 13, 2018, with 1,400 recruits.
Those who completed are 1,342, among them 197 female.
"Fifty-eight trainees were not able to complete the course due to different reasons, including sickness, some abandoned the course while others were discontinued due to indiscipline," said Nshimiyimana.
The graduates include 101 who took specialised courses at the National Police College (NPC) in Musanze District, he said.
"During the 10-month period they were here, they acquired different skills that will help them successfully deliver on their responsabilities," he said.
The skills acquired include drill on duties, physical fitness, obstacles crossing and martial arts, fighting enemy, using weapons, internal security operations, public order management, among others.
Ada Murerwa, 22, one of the three top performing recruits, said: "I have the courage and ability to serve my country, by putting into practice what I learned throughout the course."
She said that, being a female, cannot be an excuse for her not to deliver as expected.
"What my brother can do, I can do it too," she told the media after the event.
Others who were recognised for good performance were Samson Mugarura and Rodrigue Kubwimana.