The Liberia National Police or LNP says 133 of its senior officers, ranging from Superintendents to Deputy Commissioners of Police have completed a senior level management training course offered by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre based in Accra, Ghana.
The LNP says in a release issued on Sunday, 28 May that the management training given the officers is part of a capacity building program initiated by the leadership of the Liberia National Police in the wake of UNMIL drawdown.
The program sponsored by the Japanese Government was implemented by the United Nations Development Program through the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre at the cost of US$700,000, the LNP says.
Severing as Keynote Speaker, Justice Minister Frederick Cherue called on the graduates to exercise the knowledge obtained from the course for the good of the country and people of Liberia.
Minister Jerue says the lack of professionalism is gradually killing Liberian institutions with the LNP being no exception. The Liberian Attorney General says capacity building for the LNP is crucial especially when the UN Mission is pulling out of the country, leaving security responsibilities with the local security apparatus.
Minister Cherue has cautioned officers here to be professional and patient – minded when executing their duty, adding that such virtues are important for peace officers serving their country.
He says the government of Liberia is grateful to the Government and people of Japan for supporting the training of the officers, describing Japan as a true partner to Liberia.
In remarks, Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman said his administration will take some hard decisions to professionalize the police department. Col. Coleman stressed that only the merit system will be used to promote officers in the police, adding that the lack of merit system has damaged the police over the past time.
The new police chief says he is prepared to take some hard decisions that will put the LNP back on track with other police institutions in the sub-region.IGP Coleman says the LNP Administration is currently working out modalities with the Government of Liberia to pension 100 long – serving and over age officers from the LNP.
According to IG Coleman, the LNP over the years has been unable to progress due to the lack of system which he says has impeded the progress of the organization. He has assured the graduates of his commitment to reform the LNP, while calling on them to prepare their emotions for the hard decisions that his administration will take in the future.
He says positions that will be vacant as a result of the pension program will be occupied by only officers that will meet the standard and qualification and not by favoritism.
“Our decision to institute the scheme is not intended to get at any particular group of officers, but to clean up the system to allow other younger and qualified officers to be promoted”, IGP Coleman says.
For his part, Japanese Ambassador to Liberia Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura says the training sponsored by his government is part of activities under the project “Strengthening Policing and Arms Control Capacities of the Government of Liberia Post UNMIL Drawdown”.
He says the program is done in collaboration with the UNDP, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre and the Government of Liberia, aimed at aiding the development of the technical and operational capacity of the LNP for effective law enforcement in view of the drawdown of UNMIL.
Amb.Yoshimura has told the graduates that the relevance of the course will however not materialize unless the participants commit themselves to ensuring that the rich experiences gained here are implemented in the discharge of their functions. — Press release