The Liberia National Police (LNP) has assured Community Watch Forums (CWF) across the country of its preparedness to keep the torch of partnership burning so as to weed out criminals who continue to threaten and terrorize peaceful residents.
LNP Inspector General (IG), Patrick Sudue, said at a joint interaction and experience sharing meeting in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, that no time is better than now for police and community policing teams to work together in harmony for the good of the country.
“Our unbending promise and commitment here is that CWF will always be a part of our security plan. We recognize you and will work with you at all times to maintain a peaceful community life,” Sudue promised.
He said the LNP, although faced with budgetary constraints as is the case of all government agencies, will pay for a national head office of CWF, so as to enable them properly coordinate their activities in line with police routines.
“Situations are challenging now, but we will make available uniform for all CWF personnel to distinguish you from other residents while on duty,” the IG said.
He called on all those who take complaints to police depots not to pay money to any police officer for their concerns to be heard.
Sudue, on the other hand, admonished police officers to desist from extorting money and any other item from people who come to them with complaints, “even if such person is being accused of committing whatever crime.
“It is the constitutional right of anybody, including an enforcer of the law, to be heard whenever there are grievances. People don’t have to pay money for that,” he reiterated.
He said 136 bicycles will be dispatched by LNP to CWF in all the counties, to ease their logistical constraint as they perform their assigned duties.
“Survey has shown that since we embarked on this journey of collaboration, crimes have drastically reduced. This shows that while we may not be found everywhere, your efforts are of great help in curbing armed robbery and many other crimes perpetrated by hardcore criminals who always put the law to test. Thank you and we appreciate your efforts,” IG Sudue told personnel of the CWF.
Deputy Police Inspector for Operations, Robert Buddy, also said the current LNP leadership is interested in pro-active policies from CWF, rather than reactive policies. “While we may be new to the positions, we are long time insiders of law enforcement; therefore we admonish everyone to follow the due process of justice and avoid taking what is to be handled by police into your own hands,” Buddy said.
He said while armed robbery, rape and drug abuse top police report index, there is a beacon of hope that with communities’ involvement, the rate of crime would be reduced and the safety of every resident guaranteed.
The national chairman of CWF, I. Nyenati Kaffey, expressed confidence in IG Sudue and his ability to deliver on promises made. He said his organization is with the police in maintaining law and order, adding, “no matter the challenges, we are interested in sustaining the country’s peace.”
The Community Watch Forum was organized in 2004, and has since that time stood by LNP and other security agencies in bringing to book perpetrators of crime.