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Police extortion worries IG

Liberia’s Police Chief Col. Gregory Coleman has expressed serious disappointment over news of alleged extortion of money from drivers, and other road users by traffic police officers, on grounds that such unprofessional action is unacceptable and reduces public confidence in the police.

“I’m tired of complains by the public against traffic officers, this will have to stop or you leave the police with those who are willing to serve their country,” Police Inspector General Col. Coleman warned traffic officers over the weekend.

He said he was disappointed over news of police impropriety coming from members of the public against traffic officers that are assigned on the various streets of Monrovia and other parts of the country.

“You are a graphic representation of the state, and as such much is expected of you by the people whose taxes are used to finance your salaries. You will need to desist to save the image of this noble institution or you face the wrath for your action”, Col. Coleman warned.

A statement issued by police authorities in Monrovia on Sunday, 26 February says the Police Chief called on his officers to see their job not as a career, but as a way of life.

He, therefore, urged them to do away with acts that he says undermine their own integrity and that of the institution, emphasizing that accusations against officers from the public were worrisome and degrading.

Expressing expectation that law enforcement officers here would live above reproach in the performance of their duties, Col. Coleman said the officers should not see the police profession as  a money making venture, but a calling that comes with  commitment and the willingness to serve one’s people.

Having frowned on the alleged conduct of traffic officers here, IG Coleman disclosed to the officers that negotiation was in an advanced stage with state actors in an effort to improve police incentives.

He said government has shown lots of interests in stepping up the salary of individual police officers; but he reminded his officers that it was unfair for the public to be complaining of harassment, extortion and intimidation by police officers while these background discussions were ongoing.

He concluded by encouraging the officers to seek the path of professionalism in performing their duties as the public depends on the police for their safety and protection.- NewDawn

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