The European Union (EU) has donated a specialized computer for Data Collection and Registration Center (DACORE) for use by Liberia’s law enforcement agencies to digitize and share information in support of the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) program.
The handing over of the DACORE at the Liberia National Police (LNP) Headquarters on Friday, 5 July is done within the context of the regional security program in an effort to boost information sharing, and the European Union (EU) is funding the project.
The foreign partners say they will try as much as possible to extend the equipment to the borders because that’s where every passenger is checked against the national and international databases.
The program has many layers including national, regional and international.
Deputy Police Inspector General for CID Affairs Col. Prince Mulbah says the donation of the DACORE for Liberia’s entire security will enhance the effort of combating national and transnational crimes.
WAPIS County Officer Motlalepula Albert Motsoeneng says there will be a simple office called the Data Collection Center, disclosing that training will first be provided for law enforcement agents who will be selected by the various law enforcement agencies.
“And after training, the equipment will be deployed where these … officials are currently working,” Mr. Motsoeneng says.He concludes that there will be IT equipment that will allow “us” to connect to these agencies in future.
Ambassador Babatunde Ajisomo, the Special Representative of the President of ECOWAS Commission to Liberia says this program will have a proper linkage not only with security agencies, but cites the close working relation of the media with security agencies in assisting with relevant information.
“We need to assist our security personnel you know, in providing them regular information,” Amb. Ajisomo says, noting that security is everybody’s business.
According to the ECOWAS Envoy, intelligence sharing, using the cyber space is very cardinal to [dealing] with security challenges.
He emphasizes the porosity of the borders in the region as a major challenge, given the proximity to the Sahel where Mali and Burkina Fasso are [battling terrorist attacks].
Amb. Ajisomo urges that “we all need to pay attention to transnational crimes,” suggesting that this fight cannot be carried out in the absence of information and equipping officers in the use of computers and understanding the cyber space.
He commends the EU and Interpol for being at the forefront of the program.
LNP Commissioner of Police for Crimes Services Division (CSD) Mr. Charles Blake expresses observation that the police in West Africa have a paper – based data [system] that gets damaged by disaster.
According to him, it is on the basis of this challenge that West African Police appealed to the EU to support a digital data so that the security sector in the region can be secure through sharing of information.
According to him, the program will be run on three layers from national, regional to international levels, adding that the equipment donated is for all national law enforcement agencies.At the Data Center, he says papers will be scanned and placed into computers that can be shared just by the touch of the button.
EU Head of Cooperation Mr. Theodorus Kaspers expresses happiness to see that the Government of Liberia and the WAPIS program signed a memorandum of understanding last year of adding Liberia to the program.
He also expresses the EU’s happiness in helping to equip the Liberian police and other security agencies to make the digital connection through the region in fighting crimes across borders.
For his part, Mr. Dirk Allaerts, Director for Planning and Development at the Interpol General Secretariat notes that crime is a universal security threat, saying the aim of WAPIS’ program is to respond to some of the security challenges faced by the West African countries.
Assistant Justice Minister for Public Safety Fredrick Noah thanked the EU, ECOWAS and Interpol for the gesture in support of the WAPIS program which endeavors to build partnership for change in developing countries.By Winston W. Parley