President Ernest Bai Koroma has held wide ranging discussion with senior officers of the Sierra Leone Police force and other members of the security sector.
The meeting at the Kingtom Police Officers Mess brought together top ranking personnel of the SLP, Office of National Security, Prisons Department and the Department of Immigration.
President Ernest Bai Koroma informed security personnel that the interactive session of the meeting served as an opportunity for frank discussion, as a way to exchange views on critical issues.
PRESIDENT KOROMA IS MET ON ARRIVAL
He commended the SLP for transforming itself into a force whose overall performance has improved, citing the Global Peace Index which identifies the SLP as one of the best forces in the world.
President Koroma cited the rapid improvement of the Police by the outstanding role being played in United Nations and African Union peacekeeping missions.
PRESIDENT KOROMA MEETS VP SAM SUMANA ON ARRIVAL
The President raised grave concern about the level of lawlessness, the use of the Police to promote personal interests, the reliance on orders from above for the execution of certain orders, which are all odd perceptions that need to be cleared from the minds of the public.
These, President Koroma said, will ensure that everybody is subjected to the law, recalling when a constable Police insisted on checking his car even when the security attached to him disclosed the identity of the VIP.
THE SECURITY CHIEFS
“I don’t want anybody to say that I acted because of orders from above as Police have to work in the interest of the state, which is why we have increased allocations to the force to carry out its duty independently as expected, so that in return we should see a professional Police force,” he maintained.
President Koroma appealed to the public for continuous support to the Police, noting that the Police must work towards acquiring public confidence and respect, whilst reiterating that every personnel has the responsibility to transform his/herself.
He assured the Police of government’s continuous support as it is moving towards the right direction.
President Koroma said he want to have an opportunity to have a feel of what happens in the public and encouraged all to work together so that at the end a way forward will be mapped out.
Inspector General of Police Francis Alieu Munu pledged the continued loyalty and hard work of the Police, observing that the force always considers the President as a role model.
He said the SLP has recorded series of successes at both local and international levels, amidst emerging challenges of corruption now being drastically minimized within the force.
Mr Munu disclosed plans to introduce city wide monitoring through CCTV cameras and informed the meeting that the force has established a cyber crime unit and gender directorate.
He stressed the need for further innovations in the SLP, describing policing as a controversial job as sometimes people praise the Police for doing one good thing and then later criticize the force for another bad thing.
The Inspector General of Police welcomed the establishment of the Independent Police Complaint board and thanked President Koroma for increasing financial allocation and salaries for the force as he called for more support, especially in implementing activity based budget to further develop the needed security environment.
He disclosed that the force needs to open social media accounts to monitor crimes and potential terrorist threats as there are many people on Facebook and Twitter, noting that there is more money in cyber space reiterating that security and development are close partners.
Earlier, welcoming President Ernest Bai Koroma and entourage, Deputy Inspector General, Richard Moigbeh chaired the ceremony, described the visit as the fulfilment of his promise for a dedicated engagement with the SLP, noting that President Koroma has made it clear that he wants to leave the SLP with a legacy take the lead in the war against lawlessness, indiscipline and corruption which it is fully committed to.
The DIG stressed that the Police has learnt a lot of lessons from the President’s visit and motivated the Police to fulfil its complex objectives.
By State House Communications Unit