The Police Support Unit (PSU) of the Liberia National Police has just ended at the Police Academy in Paynesville, a three month special training in how to control a riot. A total number of 700 officers of PSU took that training under the supervision the French gendarmerie.
“This is a new day for our country.” Christiana Tarr, Attorney general of the Republic of Liberia, said during the program. “This kind of training is needed very much at this time, because we will surely need such a unit during the election in case of any violence.”
The officers were trained in a specific way to stop violence and riot without using real bullet that could cause death. Three gendarmeries brought specially from Paris to train the PSU officers, put emphasis on how to contain an angry crowd a peaceful, but drastic manner, without using fire arm.
“During a meeting in Paris early 2009, Madam President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf asked my President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to help her train the Liberia National Police. Indeed, less than one year ago, when I met IG Marc Amblard, for the first time in my office, he explained to me that the initial number of 150 officers to be trained was not enough. This is how we increased the number to 700.” Gerard Larome, French Ambassador to Liberia said.
Through the program, 15 officers of the Liberia National Police were sent to France, in Saint-Astier (Gendarmerie School) and in Lyon (CRS School). 5 others will soon be leaving the country for the same destinations.
“Let me say Madam Minister of Justice, that today, you can go ahead on this way to democracy and the electoral period, because you need a good police, a police that is able to maintain order, without shooting and to keep your streets in a quiet and peaceful situation. You have it now If you need peace, prepare for war. Your Government will be able to do that with a good and democratic Police and Army.” Ambassador Larome said.
The Inspector General of Police was represented at the program by his Deputy for Operation, Al Karlay. He called on his colleagues to make better use of what they have learned during the three month training.
Al Karlay disclosed that there are elements in the Liberia National Police who are in the habit of informing drug dealers, whenever the Police are planning to raid said criminals.
“Several times we planned to go on a narcotic raid, to go attack drug dealers. But before we get there the information is already there. The drug dealers have cleaned up the place. I have a serious problem with that.” Al Kaley said at the Police Academy in Paynesville.
Though the national security apparatus was highly praised few months ago for aiding the United States government in making a very significant arrest by tracking down internationally known drug dealers, the Deputy Police Chief believes that drug dealers are still enjoying a free ride internally.
Al Karlay who was very indiscreet as he was talking to his young colleagues, disclosed that the Liberia National Police is miss-managing vehicle given to it by international donors and the Government.
“We have damaged close to two hundred vehicles in less than two years time. What is that? We as police officers, it is our duty to protect these equipments. Use them in a useful way, but if you miss-use these equipments, don’t continue crying. We were given Mercedes Benz here, in less than two years, we have damaged those vehicles. We have the responsibility to take care of equipments that have been given to us.” The Deputy Police Chief said.
After the speeches, the trained officers offered a scene of demonstration during which, real fire was used. The officers were seen running through fire to contain a huge crowd of demonstrators. An amazing scene that could not leave the tens of spectators, who, sometimes, have to shout.