President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has submitted a bill to the Legislature calling for the Inspector General (IG) and deputies of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to have tenured positions for four years. The bill is titled, “An act to amend Chapter 22, Subsection 22.76 (a) of the LNP Act of 2015.”
In a letter to the lawmakers on Tuesday, President Sirleaf urged them to tackle the gap in the current Police Act, which says that the IG serves at the will and pleasure of the President. “It falls short of how long he/she serves as IG, which may create vulnerability,” the President said in her letter. She indicated that the purpose of the bill is to close that gap and create job security and certainty in the planning, execution and performance at the highest level of policing in the country.
According to the President, the act when passed into law, will give the IG a definite tenured position. She said that the passage of the instrument into law will avoid serious instability and give assurance that the Inspector General will not be sacked (at the will and pleasure of the President), thereby jeopardizing his plans. Moreover, President Sirleaf informed the Legislature that as security is paramount to keeping the peace, the passage of the instrument will create a stable leadership position in the police force, which she said will help the government to attain its security goals.
The House Plenary has voted to turn the bill over to the Committees on National Security and Judiciary to review and advise Plenary within two weeks.