Wednesday, January 15, 2014 occasioned a complete ‘drama and comedy’ in the commercial district of Red Light in Paynesville, outside Monrovia when men and women wearing police uniforms attempted escape in disarray, but were arrested in a police raid. The raid, organized by the Liberia National Police and executed by the Emergency Response Unit or ERU and Police Support Unit or PSU, was targeted at combing Monrovia and its environs in the wake of the harassment of marketers, petite traders and commercial drivers, as well as the embarrassment created for the government by impersonators and unassigned police officers.
In Wednesday’s police raid, seventy-five unknowledgeable assigned police men and women were arrested, disrobed and are currently detained at the National Police headquarters for investigation. Also among those in a police dragnet under the command of the Director of the Liberia National Police, Colonel Chris Massaquoi, were non-police personnel wearing police uniforms.
Marketers, petite traders, commercial drivers, as well as passengers and pedestrians- all victimized by the actions of those arrested, booed and chanted anti-police slogans as armed ERU and PSU officers escorted impersonators and unassigned police officers into police pick-up trucks. The exercise followed similar operation a few weeks in Monrovia and its environs to raid ghettos and other criminal hide outs not only to ensure peace and sanity during the festive season, but continuous security in the various communities.
As we hail Director Massaquoi, his deputies, assistants and riot groups-ERU and PSU- for such a job well done, we can only hope such exercise will also include very harsh punishments for such undesirable citizens, whose only concerns are to ‘do’ narcotic drugs, steal, armed robbery, as well as rape, among others. Such harsh punishments would only send the right signals to other would-be criminals and drug addicts across the country.
It may also be a necessity of rewarding impact to the various communities of Monrovia, other municipalities and townships across Liberia for the photographs of those caught in the act of crimes to published in newspapers and communities for Liberians to identify who the criminals and drug addicts are in the country to also serve as a deterrent to individuals and others who may be thinking about committing crime or ‘doing’ drugs. This, indeed, may to a greater extent, help in tremendously reducing all forms of crimes in our country.
In view of the foregoing, the need for the empowerment of the Liberia National Police is very important in terms of the availability of logistics and improved salaries and special operational perdiems for each field police- ERU and PSU Officer on official assignment. Even if the Ministry of Finance failed to place emphasis on such improved salary structure and other benefits, it would be incumbent on the Liberian Senate and House of Representatives to do so in the interest of the peace and safety of the people they represent at the Liberian Legislature. It is no doubt that when this happens, the men and women of the Liberia National Police, especially the ERU and PSU, would then be motivated to ‘CHASE’ the criminals and drug addicts.