Public confidence in the Liberia national Police or LNP may currently seem not to be too favourable. This is against the backdrop of un-ending allegations of police involvement in various societal crimes, including armed robbery in Monrovia and its environs.
Recently, Police Director Chris Massaquoi reaffirmed that under his watch, the police will continue to encourage professionalism and integrity within its ranks and files in the execution of its duties
Director Massaquoi’s reaffirmation was made in the wake of the immediate suspension of seven senior police officers linked to facilitating armed robbery. The suspension followed the submission of
a administrative investigative report on January 29, 2016 to the Ministry of Justice, following an investigation by the Major crime Unit of the Liberia National police.
The suspended senior police officers include Commissioner Jessie Harris, Assistant Commissioner of Police Edwin T. Swen, Supt. Jonney B. Dean, Inspector Raffel Wilson and Inspector John Kollie. Others are Detectives Varney Samah, Alexander Jabbah and Sam Ballah of the Crime Services Department.
“It’s just the beginning in our efforts to weed out the real and potential rotten apples within the Liberia national Police and to send out a strong message to all of our officers that they should operate and remain within the ambiance of the law, and that no exception will be made in dealing drastically with any officer found guilty of violating their code of ethics,” warned Director Chris Massaquoi when he addressed the MICAT Press briefing on Capitol Hill in Monrovia last Tuesday.
While some may harbor the belief that the Police Director may have been constrained to institute such action against his senior officers because of their public exposure by some alleged armed robbers, as well as the result of the inquiry by the major Crime Unit, it is, however, better late than never.
If and only if the commitment expressed by Director Massaquoi is something to go by, the public should also accept the fact – as also expressed by the director, that this is the real beginning of weeding out the ‘real and potential rotten apples’ within the Liberia National Police.
The mere fact that these seven influential police officers were publicly named by the Director, it is also indicative of the fact other officers within are now cognizant of the message and warning that they must now operate and remain within the confines of the law.., and that officers breaching the police code of ethics would be drastically dealt with.
We think the current position of the Director of Police must be welcomed, and that the action by the police hierarchy must be considered well-meaning in an effort to restore the ‘lost’ public confidence in the force.
Cautiously, such commendation for the LNP must be followed by careful observation and monitoring of police operations in the wake of the commitment expressed by Director Chris Massaquoi.