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AN ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AS A TOOL FOR REPOSITIONING THE IMAGE OF THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE, A STUDY OF LAGOS COMMAND
This research work assesses public relations as a tool for repositioning the image of the Nigerian Police Force using the Lagos State police command as a study. Over the years the Nigerian police have experienced public scorn and apathy due to unprofessional conducts, extra judicial killings, lack of commitment amongst others. It becomes necessary therefore to put in place mechanism that will address the inadequacies in the force particularly as it affects public perception of the institution. 200 copies of questionnaires were distributed to two study population. Data obtained from Lagos command police officers, members of the Nigerian public, two crime reporters, deputy police public relations officer, Lagos command and two public relations consultants were analyzed using several analytical techniques to examine relationship among variables under investigation. Findings from the research work showcased that although, the Nigerian Public Relations Department (NPPRD)’s activities is beginning to penetrate into the minds of the public, its current media relations practice must be addressed. Therefore, concerted efforts must still be made to completely erase police negative image. Such effort will achieve unprecedented success when backed by adequate funding by necessary authorities. Based on findings obtained from the study, the researcher therefore recommend that henceforth, police personnel that will be appointed to Man the NPPRD must be certified public relations persons. Also, the discriminatory media relations practice of the PPRO, Lagos command must be urgently addressed. More importantly, the study recommended that adequate funding must be provided to enhance the operations of the police.
Keywords: public; perception; Nigerian police force; public relations.