The Deputy Minister of Justice for Administration and Public Safety, Cllr. Wheatonia Y. Barnes said, providing training and proper equipment as well as overseeing deployment of additional police and DEA officers in specific areas vacated by UNMIL has posed serious challenge to government.
Speaking at the joint graduation of 169 candidates of the Liberia National Police Class 44th and Drugs Enforcement Agency 2nd Class at the National Police Training Academy in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, she however said, significant progress has been achieved in ensuring the deployment of security personnel across the country since March 2015, following the transfer of security responsibility to the government as of June 30, 2016.
“We are on course and fully upbeat and prepared, capable of shifting the development agenda of Liberia towards a more positive front”, the Deputy Minister said.. According to Cllr. Barnes, the graduation exercises of Class 44 and LDEA Class 2 is a very important moment after UNMIL’s drawdown, saying, “Today is a manifestation of the security sector’s strategy to the further strengthen the capacity of the sector to address the security challenges being faced by the Government of Liberia.”
She challenged the graduates to work with community residents in executing their duties, stressing, “It is important that you strengthen your relationship with people in the place you will be called to serve. The national security recognizes the importance of the community engagement in securely management.”
Also speaking during the occasion, Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman called on the graduates to serve as ambassadors of peace in the various communities, noting “It is our duty to serve the communities and we must do so with pride and dignity.”
He said as members of the young class go out for duty, they should put their families’ name first and work to make them proud by serving the people with love. IG Coleman congratulated the class, saying “This class is my first class as Inspector General of Police and I am looking out there for the best for you so let’s put our job first and love the people we are going to work with in the communities.
By Sally Gaye -Editing by Jonathan Browne