Armed riot police officers here have been ordered to shoot to kill in an armed robbery situation.
Liberia’s Police Director Chris C. Massaquoi said the police will have no regret if someone gets killed in the exchange of fire. Addressing a gathering at the graduation of 105 riot police officers trained in “sophisticated” crowd control techniques at the Police Training Academy or LNPTA in Paynesville, Mr. Massaquoi warned parents here not to blame the Government and the Police if their child or children get killed at night why committing the act of armed robbery.
“I will like to appeal to grandmothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, friends, relatives and the owners of those armed robbers to tell their children to stop,” he warned during the weekend.
“Tell them to stop. Do not blame the police when we react. Do not blame us. If anything happens to your children who are out there at night committing armed robbery, do not blame the government, do not blame the Liberian National Police because we will not relent to shot back if we come under attack”, Mr. Massaquoi is quoted in release authorized by the Police Public Affairs Office as saying.
The police warning comes weeks after president Sirleaf vowed in a statement to go after murderers, armed robbers and thugs. He particularly ordered the Police Support Unit (PSU) and Emergency Response Unit (ERU) “to decisively deal with any armed robbery situation in a more robust manner to save lives and properties, having noted that police will have no regret if someone gets kill in the exchange of fire.
He warned that this was a last warning to those carrying on armed robbery activities and their hosts to desist or the police will be left with no alternative. “The police will do what is expected to protect the people of Liberia from the hands of evil minded individuals who continue to rain mayhem on peaceful residents”, Col. Massaquoi added.
The training of the officers was facilitated by the Government of France, and the graduates were trained in crowd (protest or riot) control by the French National Gendarmerie under the support of the French Government through its embassy accredited near Monrovia.
The Police Chief extended thanks and appreciations to the Government and people of France through its Embassy in Liberia for their continued support and training of the LNP over the years, adding that your support has enhanced our ability to handle critical situation in the absence of the UN Mission.
Col. Massaquoi called on Liberians not to panic in the wake of the UN Mission draw down from the country, maintaining that the LNP is actually reaching its full potential to fill any gap that might be created as the result of the drawdown.
He said the LNP is capable of providing security for the people of Liberia, but called on citizens to respect the rule of law. He said it was saddened that some Liberians were turning to violence as a mean of problem solving, indicating that such habit speaks negative in eyes of the comity of nations.
Also speaking at the program, French Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Joel Godeau, said since 2010, France has been providing a special assistance to the PSU by organizing yearly training focused on Mob Democratic Management.
The French envoy stated that for three weeks, two experts of the French Gendarmerie he named as Lt. Emmanuel Touze-Peiffer and Adjutant Jacky Calonne shared their experiences with the 105 officers.
He noted that during the training, the 105 officers received sophisticated techniques of the maintenance of law and order. He revealed that French Government, this year provided tear-gas grenades and nonlethal launchers to the LNP.
Amb. Godeau promised the French Government’s commitment to contributing to the stability of Liberia and to the country’s economic recovery.
-Edited by Othello B. Garblah