The Director of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Chris Massaquoi, has called for the Liberia National Police Training Academy (LNPTA) to be elevated to a full degree granting status from a certificate granting institution.
Since its establishment in 1959, the LNPTA has only been a certificate granting program. But Director Massaquoi is proposing to the National Legislature for an amendment to the statute creating the institution in order to change its status to at least an Associate of Arts (AA) degree granting academy.”
Director Massaquoi made the call over the weekend at the LNPTA in Paynesville during a combined graduation program for LNP and officers of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA).
He said the proposal is meant to adequately prepare officers coming out of the academy to perform at a high level of professionalism and productivity.
He said the capacity of LNP officers needs to be adequately improved so that the officers along with their counterparts can live up to the task of taking over the country’s security ahead of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) drawdown.
In December last year, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2190 in which it called on the Liberian government to “assume fully its complete security responsibilities from UNMIL no later than June 30, 2016.”
In this regard, Director Massaquoi also noted that 8,000 officers, including graduates, will train and be subsequently deployed before UNMIL’s mandate comes to an end next year.
This sentiment of elevating the status of the police academy was also shared by the LDEA Director-General, Anthony K. Suoh, who saw 101 LDEA officers graduating for the first time from the Police Academy.
He also said elevating the status of the academy is laudable, but it should not only be for the LNP, but for all paramilitary personnel in the country.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her remarks called on the police to redirect its focus on community engagement. She said this will help to improve police-community relations.
“The LNP should engage people in the communities. Police-community engagements improve relationships.”
President Sirleaf was highly encouraged by the number of female graduates, which she said proves that Liberian women are now showing interest in the security sector of their country.
The LNP recruited 92 women, while the LDEA recruited 19. The women formed part of the 413 graduates.