No Hand For The Police? A Tribute To The Liberia National Police

BY KINGSFORD S. KINGSFORD- FREELANCE JOURNALIST Cell : 077 723 466

There is a maxim that says give a man his flower while he is alive than to wait for his demise when he will no longer be in a position to appreciate your many flowery words.

This is the case of the Liberia National Police; an institution that is living up to the current reality of the day in providing security to the people of Liberia amidst difficult circumstances.

The Police like all other national institutions was badly hit at all levels due to the years of civil instability.   This madness was so severe that it took the National Government and its international partner’s lot of resources to have the LNP regain its status by the provision of world class training opportunities to young promising Liberians who braced all the difficulties and signed up to be enlisted in the country’s biggest paramilitary force, The Liberia National Police. These young men and women did so for the sake of country despite low salary incentives and other benefits that befit law enforcement personnel compare to countries in the south region. Every day as we deploy these patriotic Liberians throughout the length and breadth of this country, it is even difficult to count the sacrifices of our sons and daughters make as some of them place themselves in harm’s way so that civil liberty, national cohesion and peace can be maintained at every minute in this country.

It is an opened secret that under the astute and proficient leadership of the COL. C. Clearance Massaquoi the LNP has shown a more acceptable posture, thus winning more public confidence something Liberians have waited for, for many years. Col. Massaquoi is leading a Police force that has risen to the occasion and bridge the gap that long existed between the Police and the Community of people it serve.

You made agreed with me that this level of success and professionalism being exhibited by the police in its day to day operations can be attributed to the long standing rich professional background of the current leadership headed by Col. Massaquoi, and his dependable team to include the Deputy for Administration Col. William K. Mullah who was appointed recently by President Sirleaf, a men many of the officers described as one of their kind and the Deputy for Operations COl. Abraham K. Kromah who is no stranger to the Liberia National Police with a career spanning since age 18 and brings lots of experience to the job.

The leadership has continued to exhibit high degree of professionalism by the level of disciplinary measures put into placed; which is now paying off by the reduction of crimes around the country, and the involvement of the police in a more energetic community initiatives.

From where I sit the LNP has done a marvelous job, for instance the LNP role in the EBOLA crisis was remarkable, and One needs not to be a rocket scientist to know how the police played a pivoted role in helping to combat the deadly Ebola virus by the provision of backups to medical teams to penetrate many hostile communities at the start of the outbreak, the deployment of officers at major health instillations around the country to prevent possible attack, the donations of PPE, and the holding of anti-Ebola fora in Montserrado, Margibi, and other areas justify why we must commend the police for a job well done. This role played by the police clearly manifest how COl.Massaquoi and his team have ably transformed the police to a more people center institution.

While we appreciate the heroism of our health workers in putting their lives on the line for their fellow compatriots, we must equally extend a hand of gratitude to the Liberia National Police for the manifold contributions they made in this national fight launched by Madam President in as eradicating the deadly virus from our beloved country Liberia.

The police by all indication have shown to the public that the dark days are over at which time the police was used as tools of terror and its cells used as torture chambers against its own people. This current administration under the gavel of Col. Massaquoihasdemonstrated all it takes to boost people’sconfidence in the work of the Liberia National Police. The Ebola crisis was just never a medical problem, but security –wise, as the virus posed a very serious challenge to the internal stability of the country, so the involvement of the police was essential thus deserving our gratitude.

Another significant milestone at the Liberia National Police in 2014 is the drastic reduction of crimes within the country. For the first time in many years, Monrovia and its environs were kept quite from the hands of criminals during the festive season, this is indicative of the robust respond of the police in combating crime from the Liberian society and this can be attributed to the new style of policing deeply rooted in community outreach.   Imaging on New Year’s Eve seeing Police Top Brass on the streets of Monrovia wishing merry Christmas and Happy New Year but also urging motorists to drive safely and avoid drunkenness.

The police have got some challenges in executing its functions as required by law, as these ups and downs can be attributed to the low budgetary allotment given to the police doing budget preparation process by National budget actors. This constant reduction in the police budget continues to hamper the drive for a more productive police organization in the country. A serious national institution like the LNP must be given very serious consideration to be able to handle some of the pressing needs confronting the force. The issue of uniforms for officers has been a major problem for the LNP in the media under 2014. Officers are sometimes seen not being properly attire while performing national duty. A properly uniformed Police officer also has uniform mind.Low budgetary allocation over the years has been responsible for the acute difficulties facing the police as large portion of the budget seek to address the issue of personnel cost than to address the police in a more holistic fraction. The urge is upon us to speak out to our national leaders to see the police as national priority. It seems funny whenever some stakeholders in our country question police authority over what they considered as low deployment of police officers in their respective county, when they have the answers to the concern at bar. Until we place premier on the police we will not achieve that which we anticipate as a country.

I am confident if require resources are made available to the police more could be achieved by this noble institution that is purely dedicated to severing humanity at all cost whether under difficult circumstances or not; they must answer the call to duty.

The Massaquoi Administration has demonstrated that it is capable of providing to the people of Liberia the kind of police that they have long for; evidence by the deployment of brand new pickups and more officers to the leeward counties of our country in 2014, than any other year in the history of the police under any recent director; which has further restored the confidence and hope of Liberians in their police force.

As I conclude, let me congratulate the police and its leadership for the able manner in which they conducted themselves during our just ended midterm elections. The deportment of the LNP clearly manifested that the recovery of the country is on the right trajectory, and our security institutions are getting better by the days,

Col. Massaquoi and his team of administrators have proven that if the police is adequately supported it will soon be a proud representation of the country in the world of peacekeeping.

Like in the words of Director Massaquoi “there are many bad apples in the police,” I am overwhelmingly confident that their days are number, as the administration has embarked on a cleanup campaign to meet the needs of Liberian people who are watching.

KUDOS COL, MASSAQUOI KEEP ON THE GOOD JOB WE ARE PROUD OF OUR POLICE, LET 2015 BE A PROSPEROUS YEAR FOR THE LNP UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP

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