Christ Massaquo’s first two weeks as Director of the Liberian National Police occasioned a vigorous move against armed robbery and other crimes in Monrovia and its environs, including Paynesville. He may have succeeded against these drug-driven heartless criminals, probably due to the excitement which characterized his appointment by President Ellen Sirleaf late last year. The move by Director Massaquoi and his Liberian National Police, which resulted to a peaceful celebration of Christmas and New Year holidays, attracted public praises from all sectors of the Liberian society.
As if these warm sentimental platitudes only made Massaquoi and his forces overly confident and complacent (as in the case of the white chicken and palm oil), not much is seen of the Emergency Response Unit or ERU and Police Support Unit or PSU charged with such responsibility, regarding consistency and timeliness in responding to armed robbery. At the moment, with the high increase in armed robbery in many communities, most especially Paynesville, the vigor which once propelled Director Massaquoi’s stern action has completely diminished, leaving residents at the mercy of drug-motivated armed robbers.
It is even saddened to note the untimely intervention of the ERU and PSU when telephoned by victims of armed robbery between the hours of 1:30-3:30am.
Police intervention most often even becomes meaningless and un-welcomed by victims during and following the commission of such heinous crime. While we do appreciate the efforts of the police in combating these local terrorists, we also beg to differ with the Deputy Director of Police for Operations, Al Karley.
In reaction to public outcry against the inability of the police (ERU and PSU) to rapidly respond to wide-spread armed robbery attacks, Karley expressed denial, presenting the inflicted impressions that all was well. According to him, armed robbery has been reduced by 62-percent (meaning that the rate of the crime is only 38-percent) and that the number had reduced to five every week, something we strongly detest as a mere defense. Al Karley and his operations department must be made to redouble their efforts.
In so doing, the men and women in pursuit of these terrorists must be encouraged with motivating incentives such as extra allowances, coffee or tea, etc., etc, per night, and not only the little take-home salaries they receive per month. While we understand the impressions Karley is giving the President, we also urge him and his senior officers at the operations department of the Liberia National Police to place serious emphasis on the incentives as a way of motivating the men and women of the ERU and PSU in effectively and timely responding to armed robbery attacks’ in Monrovia and its environs, mainly Paynesville.
Equally so, the necessary logistics must also be doubled through budgetary increment by the Liberian Legislature to motivate the entire police force. When this is done, the hierarchy of the LNP must also be very expeditious in ensuring that the men and women in “the dark” receive that which is set aside for them. It happened before (during the administration of the late Joe Tate) and it can still happen.