The BPS of today has evolved from three forces namely Bechuanaland Mounted Police of 1884, the 1885 Bechuanaland Border Police and Bechuanaland Protectorate Police of 1902.
With the attainment of independence in 1966, the name changed to Botswana Police Force until the organisation was rebranded Botswana Police Service (BPS) in 1997.
In an interview this week, on the sidelines of intensive rehearsals for this year’s celebrations, BPS public relations officer Assistant Commissioner Dipheko Motube said police day had become a key event in the BPS calendar as it celebrated and marked key milestones.
“We are proud of our history having started with a group of 100 men to what you see now. The BPS growing from two divisions, North and South to five now, and the recent introduction of the North West division and a total of 17 policing districts,” said Mr Motube.
He said some of BPS’ recent successes included the introduction of the forensic science services and the cyber-crime branches.
As a way of enhancing their rapid response capability as well as to assist in policing inaccessible terrains, in 2009 BPS introduced the air support branch.
In 2011, the organisation introduced 60 days of action on crime and road safety campaign in an attempt to reduce crime and improve road safety during the last two months of each year.
Mr Motube said BPS had energised its policing strategies and initiatives with remarkable projects such as the famed Kgomo-khumo operation, which he said had made positive strides since its launch last year.
The sting anti livestock theft operation has led to numerous arrests with many cases still pending countrywide.
Another initiative is the specialised dog unit dubbed the K9 section, a fully-fledged regiment comprising a variety of sniffer dogs among them the iconic Julius, affectionately known as Boots.
Boots has been a marvel to watch when on duty attracting a good number of fans each time it busted local drug cartels on Btv.
The section is managed by the Special Support Group (SSG), BPS’ paramilitary arm responsible for amongst others giving support to stations and providing anti-poaching services.
Yet another achievement is the state-of-the-art Botswana Police College which relocated from the Village suburb of Gaborone in 2001 to the foothills of the legendary Lentswe La Baratani Hill in Otse.
According to BPS records, in 1885 Lieutenant Colonel Fredrick Carrington was appointed the first commissioner of the then Bechuanaland Border Police.
In 1971 Simon Hirschfeld was appointed the first Motswana police commissioner, deputised by the late Mompati Merafhe. Hirschfeld retired in 1995 after serving for 24 consecutive years.
In 1997, Botswana Police Force once again changed its name to the current Botswana Police Service which was a major transformation embracing the organisation’s new vision, mission, values and corporate goals.
The first batch of eight women was recruited into the police force in 1971 and since then their numbers have been increasing with each recruitment.
The 2009 merger of BPS with the Botswana Local Police is another milestone which gave birthto an integrated police service.
Apart from Mr Hirschfeld, four other Batswana have since served as police commissioners namely Messrs Norman Moleboge (1995-2004), Edwin Batshu (2004-2007), Thebeyame Tsimako (2007-2012) and the incumbent Keabetswe Makgophe who assumed the position in August 2012.
He is deputised by three deputy commissioners responsible for operations Dinah Marathe, support services Tapudzani Gabolekwe and crime investigations, David Mosetse.
In 2017, BPS was ranked first in Africa and 47th in the world by the World Internal Security and Police Index. The good crowd expected to grace the celebrations will be treated to motorcycle, horse, band and air displays as well as calisthenics and parade march past.