- Peace & Security

‘False, Misleading’ Police Chief Refutes Publication

‘False, Misleading’ Police Chief Refutes Publication

New Liberia Staff

Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Toe Sudue has described as false and misleading publication in the Monday April 2, 2018 edition of the New Dawn Newspaper in which the paper reported that the Liberia National Police had downsized 30 of its senior officers.

In an exclusive interview with the New Liberia Newspaper, the Police Inspector General (IG) said at no time did he ever dismiss a single officer since taking over the LNP.

“It is sad that the New Dawn Newspaper will go ahead and write a news story without even coming to the Police Headquarters to ascertain what exactly is unfolding so as to balance its reportage in line with professional journalism. Normally, when you have a new administration, there are officers that will be swapped or reshuffled in order to increase productivity and boost the morale of the force; so that is not what we call downsizing,” Col. Sudue said.

Contrary to the paper’s assertion, the I.G clarified that as head of Police, he has absolutely no power to dismiss a single police officer without tangible reasons.

He said before a police officer is dismissed, he or she will have to go through investigation at the Professional Standard Division, the Crime Services Division, and the Court, among others; something he said makes it impossible for him to unilaterally downsize 30 senior officers.

“Downsizing means reducing the number of employees on the payroll and that is not the case. What we did was to switch or reshuffle officers from one place to another and as the result of our action, you can see the visibility of officers in the streets. So we are really disappointed about this publication that we downsized officers. I remain accessible to any journalist; my personal numbers are out there. Besides, we have our Press and Public Affairs session here. If you have information to publish, please try to follow the ABC of journalism by coming to verify,” he explained.

According to him, similar measures will be instituted across the country so as to increase productivity within the force.

The paper further attempted to quote the police’s Act, saying the President can only appoint the head of the police and two deputies, something he termed as untrue.

According to 22.75, of the New Police Act of 2016, titled: Ranks of the Liberia National Police, the Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police for Administration, Deputy Inspector General of Police for Operations, Deputy Inspector General of Police for Training and Manpower Development and Deputy Inspector General of Police for Crime Services are all appointed by the President.

Meanwhile, the Police boss says the LNP has instituted series of measures aimed at maintaining law and order in the country, following the departure of the UN Peacekeepers on March 31, 2018. Among the measures according to I.G. Sudue is to work with the communities through community policing, increase their presence in most parts of the country as well as work with the private security sector.

“We see the community as our partners in ensuring that law and order be maintained. We will continue to work with the community so that they can have trust in the Police. This will help to curtail crime, help to bring that cordial working relationship between the people and the police,” Col. Sudue emphasized.

He said in remote areas where the Police presence is not felt, they relied on private security agents to breach the gap.

With the limited number of Police officers in the country, the Police boss says the institution will embark on a massive recruitment exercise across the 15 political sub-divisions of the country.

“Our next recruitment will be done across the country. We will do the recruitment from the various counties, do the training in those counties and deploy in those counties so as to decentralize the officers. We’ve noticed that when we bring officers from the counties to Monrovia for training, after the one year of training, they often refused to go back to their respective counties,” he lamented.

Col. Sudue is at the same time calling on all Liberians and foreigners within the borders of the country to avoid violence and help protect and maintain the peace.

In 2003, the United Nations deployed its largest peacekeeping mission to end the 14-year civil war that killed an estimated 250, 000 people.