Formally launched on February 28, 2012 with an initial contingent of 120 officers, the Uganda Tourism Police have since grown in size. The Commandant of the Tourism Police, ACP Wilson Omoding, has affirmed that more 400 officers and 4 officer cadets were added to the force subsequent to receiving several months of intensive specialized training in a range of topics. The curriculum, as he had clarified some time ago, reflects on the special needs of tourism protection and ranges from client relations to handle strategies.
The overall number now remains at well more than 1,000 such dedicated cops who are based at safari lodges, tented camps, main hotels in Kampala and upcountry, and major tourism attractions allover the country. The new officers will presumably see their first field deployment one week from now at the Namugongo Martys’ Shrine alongside regular police units when thousands of Ugandans and numerous foreign tourists will attend the festivals to commemorate the 51st anniversary of Uganda’s Catholic Martyrs beatification.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Omoding just came back from a field trip to the southwest of part of the country where he inspected the deployment of some of his officers in Kisoro and Kabale, both springboards to the two gorilla national parks Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
This included reassurance for visitors from abroad was further upgraded yesterday when the Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Dr. Andrew Seguya, affirmed that the present low-season promotion on gorilla trekking permits was to be extended until December of this year. The scheme, launched three years, ago, has turned out to be a key driver in selling gorilla permits during the low season period, raising permits sales by about 40% during the time in questions. The extension of the special sales period has already been welcomed by key tourism partners as a major support measure by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to spur demand for Uganda safari holidays for which gorilla trekking is the most high-profile activity.