By State House Communication Unit
President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma Tuesday November 24 laid the foundation stone for the new Police Peacekeeping and Law Enforcement Academy at Makump, Bombali district. “The Peacekeeping and Law Enforcement Academy will be an integral component of our peacekeeping contingents, providing them with the right training and equipping them for tours of duty abroad,” President Koroma said.
The president called on the State House Chief of Staff and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to support the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) to acquire Contingent Owned Equipment with immediate effect and to ensure that personnel are deployed at the first available opportunity.
He thanked the landowners for providing 200 acres of land for the construction of the academy and expressed satisfaction that even as the building works are ongoing, the people of the three villages, where the academy is being constructed, would be given employment on the project.
President Koroma praised the SLP for their success in peacekeeping operations in Somalia, Dafur, Haiti and even at the United Nations Headquarters. As a result of this, he stated, government will continue to support peace missions in the UN and Africa Union.
The head of state emphasized that the security of the nation is a priority for government, and noted that now that the Ebola virus disease has been defeated, “I am hopeful that we would very soon have robust security sector realignment and a post-Ebola reconstruction of your relationships to provide an alert response to our emerging security needs. I need to see a police force that is responsive to the needs of our different communities. I want to see a law enforcement sector that works together to ensure that access to justice prevails for all our citizens,” he said.
The Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu, explained that the initiative to establish a Peacekeeping and Law Enforcement Academy came through the president during a meeting with him and PC Bai Shebora Kasangha in Makeni. He explained that the academy will reduce cost of sending personnel to Ghana and other countries to study.
IG Munu noted that the academy was already registered with the tertiary education commission and will offer academic courses. Academic studies from the University of Sierra Leone and Njala University as well as people with proven expertise would be employed to lecture. He said the academy will help in building the knowledge base of officers, and revealed that two senior officers are on their way to attend a capacity training and coordination with the Liberian Police. He also called on the private sector to come in to support the initiative.
Inspector P.S Mcmamillan, deputy head of Media and Public Relations said the Peacekeeping and Law Enforcement Academy is a center of excellence. He went on to note that the academy will start full operations in 2016 and will not be limited to offering courses in police peacekeeping operations, but also offer professional courses like management, accounting, finance among others. “Mainstream academic courses will be offered from Certificate to Masters Level,” he disclosed. Inspector Mcmamillan further revealed that the academy has a Hydrafoam factory that uses local materials for construction purposes and it would be used in the construction of the academy.