Police Captain Jeanne Sagno has been with the Guinea National Police since 2008. She joined the police because she believes it serves an important role for public good—protecting people and their property, guaranteeing the security of state institutions, maintaining and restoring public order, and fighting criminality and gender-based violence.
In her more than decade-long service, two events have left an indelible mark on her: the rape of a 12-year-old girl who died from abortion complications and the case of a woman now permanently disabled from her husband’s domestic abuse. These events cemented her belief that women must be represented in the security sector in great numbers for community policing (police de proximité) to succeed. She says that because women constitute one of society’s vulnerable groups and are also victims of multiple forms of violence, they are best placed to provide actionable recommendations on how to guarantee the safety of women and their children.
As the Head of the Office of Protection of the Gender, Children and Morals (OPROGEM) Brigade at the Kaloum Police Commissariat in Conakry, Captain Sagno is doing her part. Through the Partners for Security in Guinea project, Sagno has partnered with civil society to inform women and youth of their legal rights and on how they can report violence against them to competent authorities, including the police. Her campaigning has led to higher number of reports filed as victims feel more empowered to go to the police.
Captain Sagno also serves as a Community Outreach Officer (or Policière Référente in French), a role that has taken her to many high school and university classrooms to educate students about the police. Her motto: Educate rather than punish.
She has also trained colleagues in the judicial police on conducting police searches or stops, handcuffing, and transporting suspects in ways that respect their human rights. Her training sessions have also included how to respectfully handle minors and peacefully manage protestors.
Captain Sagno looks forward to many more fruitful years serving her community, particularly women.