With Christmas barely three weeks away, the Liberia National Police (LNP) Director Chris Massaquoi has announced what he considers to be a last warning to those engaged in armed robbery.
Director Massaquoi in a statement warned suspected armed robbers and their accomplices to desist or the police will be left with no alternative but to return fire whenever they come under attack by suspected armed robbers.
He said the police will have no regret if someone gets killed in the exchange of fire, warning that, “The Police Support Unit (PSU) and the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) have been instructed to decisively deal with any armed robbery situation in a more robust manner to save lives and properties.”
“I would like to appeal to grandmothers, grandfathers, husbands, wives, friends, relatives and the owners of those armed robbers to tell their children to stop. Tell them to stop. Do not blame the police when we react. Do not blame us. If anything happens to your children who are out there at night committing armed robbery, do not blame the government, do not blame the LNP, because we will not relent to shoot back if we come under attack”, Director Massaquoi said in the presence of foreign diplomats.
He made the statement over the weekend during the graduation program for about 105 LNP officers as the Sixth Batch of the PSU held at the National Police Training Academy in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
The training of the officers, an LNP statement said, was facilitated by the Government of France through its Embassy in Monrovia. The officers were trained in crowd (protest or riot) control by the French National Gendarmerie.
According to Director Massaquoi, the homes of peaceful residents have in recent times been broken into by suspected robbers who took away personal belongings under gun point at night, warning that such behavior will have to stop or the consequences be will be felt.
“The police will do what is expected to protect the people of Liberia from the hands of evil minded individuals who continue to rain mayhem on peaceful residents”, Massaquoi added.
He called on Liberians not to panic about the UN Mission drawdown from the country, maintaining that the LNP was reaching its full potential to fill any gap that would be created as the result of the pull out of UNMIL.
French Ambassador to Liberia, Joel Godeau, said since 2010, France has been providing special assistance to the PSU by organizing yearly training focused on Mob Democratic Management.
The French envoy stated that for three weeks, two experts of the French Gendarmerie, Lieutenant Emmanuel Touze-Peiffer and Adjutant Jacky Calonne, shared their experiences with the 105 LNP officers.
He noted that during the training, the 105 officers received sophisticated techniques to maintain law and order.