For Christmas Holiday
Officers of the Liberia National Police, Ganta Detail on Friday, December 25, 2020, held what was described as its first ‘candy’ program for kids, who normally trek the streets on holidays in search of a recreation center for entertainment.
According to Sgt. Jenkins N. Mangou, the head of the Women and Children Protection Unit, who is a coordinator of the Community Service Section (CSS), the program aims to keep kids from roaming the streets and also keep them from danger or harm during the holiday.
“We decided to have this program in order to keep our kids in one place so as to avoid them from getting trapped from the hands of criminals and also keep them away from danger,” Patrolman Jacob Wonpoe of the CSS said in an overview.
“On a big-big day, children can be abused by criminals, and sometimes they also go missing and even get involved in accidents, so we are having this candy program for them to keep them off the street,” he added.
This is the first of its kind, for officers of the police to carry on a program in Ganta, where hundreds of children along with some parents or guardians turn out to participate.
“There is a transformation in our officers because it is so exciting to see them organizing the ceremony for kids on a big day like this. It was only during the time of UNMIL that we used to see such a program,” said one of the guardians.
“If these officers were capacitated, I think, they would have done more them what they are doing today,” said an elderly woman, who brought two of her grandchildren to the outing.
Ganta is one of the busiest commercial cities in Liberia, but the lacks recreation spaces or playgrounds for kids, which hampers their social cohesion, leaving most them to roam the streets on major holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Day, and even July 26 Independence Day celebrations.
The police explained that on each of the holidays, there are always complaints about missing children. Sometimes the kids abused or get involved in accidents or other forms of danger.
However, the occasion was also used to appreciate some hard-working officers within the detail, by certification and owning. Those recognized included the Detail Commander, Adolphus Zorh; his Deputy, the OPS; and one of the patrolmen who, according to Sgt. Mangou, is always on his alert to execute his duty. The Operations Officer of Nimba Detachment, Bangalee Sherif, was among those gowned for sincerity and good working relation with his men.
Mr. Sherif was described by his men as someone who does not believe in tribalism and treat everybody equally.
Meanwhile, the celebration of the Xmas passed successfully, despite complaints of hardship from some corners, regarding lack of salary and the shortage of local currency in the banks, as well as in various mobile money booths.