-AB Kromah turns over office
“I think in my own right, I have served well and I will have not a single regret for my service to the Liberia National Police,” dismissed Deputy Police Director for Operations, Abraham Kromah, has said here.
The outgoing deputy police chief spoke Wednesday at the Liberian National Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill during a formal turning over ceremony of offices to senior police officers replacing their colleagues recently dismissed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Though President Sirleaf did not publicly give reasons for dismissing Mr. Kromah, the outgoing deputy police chief had rough times with motorcyclists and some members of the public, who traded claims against him.
Public sentiments got very tense here in recent weeks when some motorcyclists were allegedly killed by police officers which resulted to the burning down of police stations in Paynesville and strapping bare some female officers by angry mob in demand of justice.
Mr. Kromah, Mr. Phil Tougbey, former assistant director for administration and professional standards, and Mr. Samuel T. Nimely, former assistant director for intelligence, turned over offices yesterday to newly appointed officers.
Incoming senior officers, including Mr. Prince B. Mulbah, Deputy Director for Operations; Mr. Joseph B. Flomo, Assistant Director for Intelligence; Mr. Jesey K. Harris, Assistant Director for Crime Services Division; and Madam Sadatu Reeves, Assistant Director for Administration and Professional Standards, respectively.
Mr. Kromah expressed heartfelt appreciation to President Sirleaf for affording him the privilege to serve, while also appreciating his former boss Director Chris Masaquoi, who he credited for “tele-guiding and providing guidance” during the course of his operations at the LNP.
Outgoing deputy LNP boss recalled how he led police operations to deal with arm robbery with community policing strategy under the guidance of Mr. Massaquoi, which he said succeeded at the end with a downward trend in arm robbery cases, having brought motorcyclists onboard.
But Mr. Kromah said there were problems because the police were dealing with motorbikes, even though he insists that the regulations being enforced was instituted by the police and sanctioned by government for public safety.
He recalled that officers that were going out enforcing the regulations had no arms, but they addressed the situation the best way possible, saying, the regulation was not the police’s personal agenda.
In dealing with motorcyclists issue, Mr. Kromah said some officers became victim of their attacks.
“We have police officers with spinal cord injury, police officers with broken leg, broken arm; we did the best we could under the given circumstances – those strategies were done with our understanding of the situation at the time under the tutelage of the Director,” he said.
However, he boasted that “today the streets are clear” and people are sleeping fine,” adding that kids under five years old that were dying on a regular basis are no longer dying because of Director Massaquoi’s own farsighted wisdom.”
He further recalled how under the “tutelage” of Director Massaquoi, he headed the operations wing of the LNP to Grand Gedeh County along with 150 Emergency Response Unit or ERU officers “armed to the teeth” to arrest suspects.
Though he said not a single weapon was fired by the LNP, Mr. Kromah noted that community policing strategy was adopted to arrest all of the suspects that have today been found guilty by the court system here.
“It was the same approach that we adapted under the tutelage and the guidance of the Honorable Director that we went to Nimba County – mine county, mine home county – when there was violence and hooliganism … by some of our citizens; when there was need to fight fire for fire…” said Kromah.
The outgoing deputy director of police said he and his officers applied community policing, to get to the people and arrested some suspects, who are now serving time in the criminal justice system, among others.
He finally pledged to give hundred percent support to the incoming deputy director for operations, Mr. Prince Mulbah.
In response, Mr. Mulbah says he brings onboard “discipline” at the LNP Administration, urging all officers to abide by it.
He said indiscipline characters are not up to the task of law enforcement officers, stressing that that discipline is the hallmark for officers, who are tasked with responsibility of regulating other people’s conduct without fear or favor.
He finally called for team work at the LNP, urging officers to put aside gossip and instead foster maximum cooperation.
Earlier, Deputy Police Director for Administration, Mr. William K. Mulbah, remarked that the LNP was “on its way to professionalism,” having described the turning over ceremony as a historic process in the restructuring process of the Liberia National Police.
“As you may be aware this is the first time we have officers of the LNP ascending to such positions from within the organization. And this is one thing that we have been yearning for over the years,” said Mulbah.
By Winston W. Parley