Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue assures female officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) that women will not be harassed sexually befroe getting recognition or promotion in the force.
His pledge came Wednesday, 27 February while being gowned by the Female Officers of the Montserrado County Police Detachment at the LNP Headquarters in Monrovia.
“Gone are those days when women were sexually harassed to get positions. Gone are those days women were intimidated to be seen on the stage,” he says amid interruptions of applause from the gathering.
The event was graced by Gender Minister Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr, United States Embassy Director for the bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Basola Ojikutu, Sweden Ambassador to Liberia Ingrid Wetterqvist and Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) Deputy Commissioner Asatu Bah-Kenneth and scores of officers.
The female officers say they honored Col. Sudue in recognition of the level of gender equity that they are enjoying in the force, with 26 of them appointed to middle level posts in Montserrado.
Col. Sudue recalls that when he took over the LNP, armed robbery and other crimes were on the rise, driving his decision to change some officers around to make a difference.
He says his reshuffle saw 26 females selected based upon merits to be placed in various positions.
In an attempt to point to success yielded in female officers’ operation, Col. Sudue narrates how an unnamed female officer busted the brutal murder case of Liberian journalist Tyron Browne, leading to suspects’ arrest at a time public suspicion was high against government for the crime.
Col. Sudue explains that a female officer was used to track the accused and every other person linked to the crime got arrested.
He expresses confidence that what the male officers can do can also be done by the female counterparts.
He says the police force is building the capacity of female officers to enable them to take over leadership at the organization once more.
He encourages female officers to strengthen their capacities to challenge the male officers.
He appreciates the female officers for recognizing his work, saying he shares it with his deputies.
Liberia Immigration Service Commissioner Asatu Bah Kenneth challenges LNP female officers to strive to be seen as qualified and merit positions if they must do something positive together with the men.
She discourages them of seeking positions by relying on their beauty or seeking favor.
INL Director Madam Basola Ojikutu says women security officers provide additional line of defense, noting that numerous studies show that security persons with women further, have lower rates of violence against citizens.
She encourages the officers to strengthen the trust and cooperation between the security sector and Liberian citizens.
Sweden Ambassador to Liberia Ingrid Wetterqvist thanks the female officers, adding that there is impressive number of female officers now in the police force.
By Winston W. Parley