Officers of the Liberia National Police, including their over-all boss, Col. Clarence C. Massaquoi, Monday, December 23, launched a community cleanup exercise, beginning in West Point.
Police Director Massaquoi and his fellow Liberian officers were joined in the exercise by other officers servicing in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
The police’s cleanup exercise is being held under the theme: ‘Taking the Police to the Community,’ and it is mainly going to target communities with police depots.
Director Massaquoi and his officers were likely responding to the plea from West Point Commissioner Miatta H. Flowers.
Commissioner Flowers, in a Daily Observer interview Sunday, December 22, sent out an impassioned call for the halted Beaches and Waterways Project to continue unabated.
The Beaches and Waterways Project, an initiative launched by the Liberia Maritime Authority (LMA), paid West Pointers to keep the beaches and other parts of the township clean.
However, with the cessation of that project, Commissioner Flowers fears cholera outbreak in that township, which is one of Liberia’s biggest slum communities. Most of the community dwellers live in a very unhygienic condition. They use the bank of the Mesurado River on one side and the beach of the Atlantic Ocean on the other side as defecating sites.
Just before Col. Massaquoi and others could begin the cleanup exercise, he disclosed that the police had put a strategy in place in order to secure the protection of citizens and residents alike and together sustain the peace during this festive season.
“I want you to enjoy your Christmas and your New Year’s Day and I can guarantee you that you will have a peaceful holiday season,” the police boss told West Pointers.
Col. Massaquoi also called on the township residents not to be afraid of the police as they are there to provide protection; adding: “This is why the Liberia National Police is taking its community relations to the people.”
He said the police’s visits to the various zones and depots in the communities are its way of celebrating the season with the communities’ members.
He said all that communities can do is “respect the police and the police will in turn respect you.” He urged communities to develop a kind of relationship with the police that would include a crime-relation reporting, comprising report cases involving rape. He told speaking out was the best way of identifying with the police and or helping the police.
He challenged the community to help reduce crimes, whether it is armed robbery or others.
Madam Rose Stryker, Deputy Police Inspector for Administration, also said their visit in the communities was to say thanks to those communities for helping to maintain peace and security in the country.
Madam Stryker further stated: “We have brought sweets for the children to say a Merry Christmas and this is a small token to the children. We have also come to help you clean the community; we are saying to you that we hold West Point dear to us for what you have done for our Zone II Base.”
Representing the United Nations counterparts of the police, Madam Marufau Barimah admits that the community has been helpful to the Police Depot in the community. She didn’t say how the community has been helpful, but added: “Security is everybody’s responsibility.”