By Alimatu Fofanah.
The Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh has said in Freetown that men and women in uniforms must be respected, but noted that respect must start from within the force before the public will give them the respect they deserve.
He made this statement last week Wednesday in a meeting held at the Sierra Leone Police Force at the Kingtom Police Officers’ Mess in Freetown to brief him on the structures of the Police Force and Policing, generally.
Police duties, the Hon. VP said, are very intricate and that the survival of any nation rested solely on the shoulders of the police, adding that it was unfortunate that most members of the public are not inculcated in the real habit of what the police are, what they stand for and what they do.
He noted that many a time the police are attacked and that they suffer unnecessarily during the dispensation of their duties. This, he added, should not be the order of the day.
In a civilized country, Vice President Foh said the police force is a highly respected group and that for the country to succeed, all must work toward respecting the forces of the country.
He encouraged them to continue to execute their duties accordingly and work with him to achieve the goals of the various units in the force.
He maintained that the government of the leadership of His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma was democratically elected and that as the principal assistant to His Excellency, he is to work with the police force so that the government will achieve it desired goals. To achieve the desired goals, he reiterated, required the full cooperation of the Sierra Leone Police Force.
He assured the police management that from his modest position he will serve the people of this nation and the police force judiciously as a team player, stressing his desire to be accommodative, transform the force to a happy unit and ensure that more women are encouraged into the force.
Meanwhile, he cautioned the police to use the newly supplied vehicles astutely in order for the vehicles to last longer.
Briefing the Vice President earlier, the Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police, Francis Allieu Munu said the rationale for the meeting was to brief Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh in his capacity as the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and Chairman of the Sierra Leone Police Council on the functions and structure of the Sierra Leone Police Force in order for the VP to understand issues about police and policing.
The briefing will ensure the VP will note the progress they have made with a contract that was facilitated by the Hon. Vice President while serving as an Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.
IG Munu said that while the Vice President was serving as an Ambassador to China, he signed a MOU on behalf of the government of Sierra Leone with Poly Technology Incorporation that later entered into contract with the Sierra Leone Police to supply vehicles, patrol boats, information equipment, sewing machines for the purpose of establishing a Garment Factory that will provide uniforms for officers.
Explaining some of the achievement they have made so far, the Inspector General of Police said as a result of their efforts in keeping the country safe, the country has been rated as one of the most peaceful countries in the world, serving as an example of the United Nations success story, and have been able to minimize crime rate in the country.
These, he said, were achieved as a result of the formidable team that is working with him, acknowledging also the support the force is and has been receiving from the government.
The police boss went further brief the Vice President on some of the challenges they encountered during the discharged of their duties especially in ensuring that Sierra Leoneans live their normal lives.
Mr. Munu said the public expects so much from them although some have impossible expectations, but they have been to keep the country safe and peaceful and that people are going about their normal routines unhindered.
Concluding, IG Munu informed the Vice President that they are working with the rest of the world through Interpol and that they have an information system called 24/7 that links them to the rest of the world.
The meeting was climaxed by a conducted tour of the Garment Factory at the Kingtom Police Barracks.
By Alimatu Fofanah.