As we lay the 6th Ghanaian to head the Ghana Police Service to rest at Akropong in the Eastern Region today, (29th May, 2021), we are consoled by the legacies left behind by IGP Ernest Ako (Rtd.). He was a brave Police Officer whose career started on 4th April 1941 and ended on 30th June 1978 with an unblemished record.
He is remembered as the IGP who started the Police Hospital in 1976; the first to procure armoured vehicles for the Formed Police Unit (then Armoured Car Squadron) and the first to celebrate Police Week in Ghana, giving the public the opportunity to visit Police Stations across the country, to learn at first hand the day-to-day operations and activities of the Police.
Mr. Ernest Ako enlisted as a Recruit, passing out with the rank of Constable Class II on 1st October, 1941. He was promoted to the ranks of Constable Class I on 1st August, 1949, Corporal on 1st January, 1950 and Sergeant on 1st August, 1951. He was further promoted to the rank of Sub Inspector on 1st December, 1953 and Inspector Grade II on 1st October, 1958 based on hard work, good conduct and dedication to duty. Even though there were many prestigious job opportunities at the time, Mr. Ako opted to serve mother Ghana as a Police Officer.
He worked as an accomplished detective and handled very many delicate cases. As a result, he earned the respect, trust and confidence of his superiors culminating in his selection for cadet officers’ course. He was among the first batch of cadet officers who were trained locally in Ghana in 1959, bringing to an end the idea of Ghanaian Police Officers undergoing their cadet training in the United Kingdom. On successful completion, he was commissioned into the Senior Officer Corps on 4th September, 1959 and promoted to the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police. He worked devotedly and endeared himself to both seniors and subordinates.
His devoted service and leadership qualities earned him successive meritorious promotions to the ranks of:
Deputy Superintendent of Police on 1st November, 1961;
Superintendent of Police on 1st May, 1964;
Chief Superintendent of Police on 1st March, 1966;
Assistant Commissioner of Police on 1st November, 1967;
Deputy Commissioner of Police on 16th December, 1971; and
Commissioner of Police on 1st August, 1973.
Having excelled and distinguished himself in the various command positions and ranks, it was no wonder that on 30th September, 1974, he was appointed Inspector-General of Police and a member of the National Redemption Council which was later replaced by the Supreme Military Council. On 14th January, 1975, Mr. Ernest Ako was appointed Commissioner for Internal Affairs by the then Head of State, Gen. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.
IGP Ako transformed the Ghana Police Service by a number of initiatives including the change of name of the Ghana Police from “Service” to a “Force” thereby making the Ghana Police “Self-Accounting”. It was the 1992 Constitution which reverted the Ghana Police Force to a Service again.
Mr. Ernest Ako has a very wide and varied experience having attended many overseas courses. He has also been on attachment to New Scotland Yard.
While in the Service, Mr. Ernest Ako served in many duty stations and command positions including;
MTTU/Accra – 1961
Tarkwa Division – 1969
Regional Commander/Western Region – 1970
Regional Commander/Ashanti Region – 1972
Commissioner/Administration/Headquarters – 1973
Inspector-General of Police – 1974
Mr. Ernest Ako over the years, both in active service and on retirement, related very well with his compatriots, senior Officers, subordinates and the general public at large. His leadership skills were exemplary, and these left behind indelible landmarks which continue to inspire the younger generation of officers in the Service. His death is a great loss and words cannot express the volume of grief his death has created. We shall continue to cherish his courage and the dedication he attached to his work.