By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
Officer Sawon S. Doe with Identification Card numbered 0699 of the Police Support Unit (PSU) has been disrobed, dismissed and forwarded to the Drug Enforcement Agency for onward prosecution for his alleged connection with 13 huge parcels of marijuana said to be worth LD966, 000.
The former PSU officer was arrested along the Bomi Highway while enroute to Monrovia driving a black X-Terra marked plate number NG-2143 during the early Sunday morning by a team of highway patrol officers led by patrolman, Jallah M. Japolo.
Addressing a special news conference yesterday at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police (LNP) where officer Doe was officially served his letter of dismissal and turned over to the DEA along with the substance amounting to 145 kilograms, Police Inspector General, C. Clarence Massaquoi said the stance taken against the officer is a continuation of the police in-house cleaning exercise to ensure law and order in the country.
Col. Massaquoi said the act committed by the now disrobed officer was a clear violation of the police duty manual and because Officer Doe was caught in plain view, the authority had no option but to immediately dismiss him thereby urging the communities that the LNP will remain vigilant in the execution of its duties as any act of misconduct on the part of its officers will not be compromised.
The police IG who described the operation as a police solo operation said the prosecution of one of its own is intended to send out a message that the LNP is not joking because to have an officer who is supposed to be enforcing law and order involved in such act sends out bad signal and goes far beyond issues of compensation or low wages.
He said everyday poses a new challenge and Ethical Police Conduct is often an uphill battle adding, “Yet it is attainable. While we acknowledge that there are ‘bad apples or pockets corruption,’ representing only a very small number of our officers, we remain committed to the enforcement of law and maintenance of order.”
Col. Massaquoi associated those considered as ‘bad apples’ in the police which he referred to as minority to the handicaps to true policing in the country and promised to continue to decisively deal with them as the administration cleans the system of “pockets of corruption.”
The police also reported that the two other occupants, who disembarked the vehicle prior to the stop and search exercise thereby creating suspicion for an immediate search in the vehicle, are at large.
Meanwhile, the police registered its apology to the Liberian communities for reneging on its ‘Police Trust Building Process’ and pleaded that the action taken should serve as a clear demonstration of its administration recommitment to the process.