DESPITE THE RENEWED vigor and progressive leadership inserted into the Liberia National Police recently by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the issue of logistical capacity and motivation remains a major challenge in executing its statutory responsibilities.
THE PREFERMENT OF Colonel Gregory Coleman as Director of Police and Colonel Abraham Kromah as his Deputy may welcomed and a high hope not only for the men and women of the force, but many Liberians who continue to experience restless nights, movements and peace of mind in the wake of the current increase in crimes, including armed robbery and various violations.
WHEN THE TWO progressive gentlemen appeared before the Liberian Senate on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 for confirmation hearings, they both committed the new police hierarchy to seeking the welfare of its officers and instituting high degree of discipline among them, as well as addressing the issue of crimes in an urgent manner, as the security of the nation and its people could not be compromised; they further assured that the public would experience a massive presence of police visibility in various communities beginning with Monrovia and its environs in his first hundred days in office in collaboration with community policing to reduce the level of crimes perpetrated by criminals.
WHILE WE SHARE the desire and commitment of the two very senior new Policemen, the ‘HOW’ for the accomplishments of such commitment remains a major question to answer. No matter what qualities, experiences and renewed vigor they bring into the Liberia National Police, capacity and logistics remain a factor to drive the police towards the attainment of societal peace and harmony as far as law and order are concerned.
IN OTHER WORDS, all what to which Director Gregory Coleman and Deputy Director Kromah have committed the Police Leadership would require ‘money’. WITH A BUDGET ceiling of US$15.9m allotted by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning opposed to the US$25.7m proposed by the Liberia National Police for the 2016/2017 Fiscal Year, what hope for reliance does the Police hierarchy have to meet up with such commitments, especially when salaries account for more than 80% (US$13.4m)?
REGRETTABLY, THE BUDGET ceiling set by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for the Police did not only brush aside allotments for foreign and domestic travels, electricity, water and sewage, telecom, internet repair and maintenance of motorcycles and vehicles, but the engine of police operations – intelligence services, despite a proposal of US$500,000.
UNLESS THE NEW LNP leadership is greatly dependent on somewhere else to source funding, the police will continue to remain strangulated and demotivated to the detriment of the Liberian society, as such inadequate budgetary allotment will definitely undermine the first line of internal security – a responsibility with which the Liberia national Police is charge.