The Liberia National Police (LNP) has disclosed community policing initiatives arranged between residents of Butaw, Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) employees and other to disseminate the roles of the community and the police in fostering a better society.
At the Ministry of Information regular press briefing on Tuesday, the Officer-In-Charge of the Butaw Incident in Sinoe, Gregory Coleman, said the issue of community policing was cardinal to maintaining law and order.
He called on the citizens of the country to be united and build a good relationship with GVL.
“We intend to create a cordial working relationship between the GVL, residents of Butaw and the LNP, since law and order have been restored in the area. We also want to ensure that peace and security are maintained in the area through the upholding the rule of law,” he said.
According to him, a community policing team has been formed to work closely with the LNP to report crimes. This, he said would serve as a means of reducing incidences of crime and crime-related activities in the area as well as enhance the cordiality between the police and the community dwellers.
“There have been reports in the media about police actions of torture, rape and looting. Contrary to the allegations, the police backup team arrived after the initial vandalizing of the GVL facilities and did not partake in any torturing or raping. We are calling on members of the community who have accusations concerning the allegations to come forth with their claims,” Officer Coleman stated.
He said it was indeed a cultural shock for the residents of Butaw to have seen a huge presence of police officers in their locality; performing their statutory functions.
He added that measures have been put into place to educate the community on what the relationship between the police and communities should be, taking into consideration that the police are their friends.
He said the LNP arrived in Sinoe with some of the best imported food stuffs recently donated to the police by the United States Army.
Meanwhile, officer Coleman has disclosed that 30 persons have been arrested; 23 charged with multiple crimes and turned over to the Greenville Magisterial Court on June 1, while seven were released due to lack of evidence against them.
The 30 persons are being charged with economic sabotage, armed robbery, criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, criminal mischief, criminal conspiracy, theft of property, among other crimes.
For his part, Police Director Clarence C. Massaquoi advised the general public not to resist police arrest, rather to remain law abiding citizens and ensure that the officers carryout their work correctly.