Death statistics released at a memorial service here indicate that the Liberia National Police or LNP has documented the death of 13 former police directors and about 736 police officers since the founding of the organization that dates back to 1960s.
Under the administration of Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman, a first – ever memorial service was held for all deceased police officers and directors on Friday, 13 January at the Tubman United Methodist Church in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Col. Coleman and his deputies Col. William K. Mulbah, Abraham Kromah and other senior officers had just returned from laying wreath over the grave of LNP’s founding father,who died in 1991, Mr. Charles B.Alphonso Caine in New Kru Town before attending the memorial service organized by the LNP in Paynesville.
Deceased former police directors include E. Luzon Harmon, E. Harding Smythe, W. Thomas Bernard, Andrew T. Davies, Varney E. Dempster and Joe Y. Myers. Other deceased former police directors include James F. Forkpah, John W. Yormie, II, Rudolph B. Flowers, Joseph B. Tate, Jr. Charles L. Cooper, Nathaniel Baker and Charles D. Deshield, respectively.
Liberia’s Attorney General and Justice Minister Cllr. Frederick Cherue appreciated the LNP memorial program, and urged other national security agencies to follow the example of the police in rememberingfallen officers.
Cllr. Cherue said while the deceased officers had their time in life to serve the country, they took the challenge and stood in the rain and sun to ensure safety even when others abused them.
Police Inspector General Coleman urged officers to live life that worths remembering, saying they should serve diligently and have ethics to be their guide. He said the memorial service was meant to honor both the deceased officers and their family members, who made the utmost sacrifice to allow their loved ones to serve the public at a time they were needed most.
IG Coleman said the job of a police officer is not possible without the support of the family on grounds that most times “our call” to service becomes questionable by the family. After laying wreath over the grave of Mr. Caine, Col. Coleman recalled that the grave was discovered during a patrol during the Ebola crisis when his former boss Chris Massaquoi led an entire police crew to the grave site and vowed that something would be done about it.
In a sermon, Tubman United Methodist Church Senior Pastor Rev. Henry McDonald Deshield said the memorial service was not a waste because the late Caine and all those who served the LNP stood in the sun and rain, and took the risk to travel throughout Liberia to ensure sanity and peace.
On behalf of over 400 bereaved families, the daughter of LNP’s founding father the late Caine, Madam Georgia Caine Byers thanked the police administration for the recognition and wished the police God’s blessings.
The service was graced by former police directors, including Col. Chris Massaquoi, Col. Mac Amblard and other past and present security top brass here, including the Deputy Director of the elite Executive Protection Service Madam Rose Stryker, among others.
By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne