Row over US$200,000: Police Threaten To Desert ‘Ebola Fight’

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More than 1000 officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP), who are assigned from different units to augment the fight against the deadly Ebola virus. say they are dissatisfied with what they described as ‘unfair’ distribution of the US$200,000, allocated to them by the government for the exercise.

 As such, tension is reportedly brewing among the LNP officers to the extent that some personnl on active duty have threatened to go slow or abandon their respective assignments.

 Of the more than 1000 officers on duty, 250 are assigned with the police support unit (PSU), 250 with the patrol division; 150 with the emergency response unit (ERU); 75 leeward; 50 Police Support Division (PSD); 50 traffic officers, 25 intelligence officers (plain clothes). while the rest are top brass (administration).

 As per the division of this money, the officers said, they were supposed to receive US$50 each day while on duty for at least one month.  

 The officers, who spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity, said they are being denied their fair share of the US$200,000 allocated to the police hierarchy for the fight against the Ebola.

 According to some of the officers, particularly those assigned with the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), their superiors – including the deputies for administration and operations (commissioned officers) – only on one occasion divided US$50 among them for the ‘operations.’

“Since we received the first amount of the US$50 from the office of police operations (102), we are yet to get anything further to empower us effectively do the work. Therefore, we have resolved to go slow, because our lives are being put at risk as well,” the irritated officers threatened.

The disgruntled officers have also disclosed that since Monday of this week, they have complained of lack of fuel for their assigned vehicles to patrol the city, but to no avail.

 To this allegation, police spokesman, Sam Collins, promised to call the Observer reporter back and address the matter. But up to press time last night, he did not return the call.

 Attempts by this paper the whole of yesterday to get comment from the LNP deputy for operations, Abraham Kromah, did not materialize as his phone line returned a busy signal throughout the day.

 Similarly, the deputy for administration, William K. Mulbah, could not be reached throughout the whole of yesterday up to press time.

 In a related development, the director of police, C. Clarence Massaquoi, has commended the United States Embassy near Monrovia for sourcing urgently needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for the police.

At a recent news conference, Director Massaquoi said the materials which the U.S. Embassy has already negotiated for are due in the country ‘very soon.’ He then thanked some local business entities for providing assistance to the LNP to support its role in the fight to bring the spread of the Ebola virus under control.

Items those business entities donated to the LNP include 250 gallons of fuel, one gallon of chlorine, 12 spray cans, 100 bags of rice (25kg each) and 75 cartons of frozen foods.

Meanwhile, Col. Massaquoi has appealed to Liberians and friends of Liberia to heed to the call of the National Task Force and join in the fight to kick Ebola out of Liberia.

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