On Friday, March 10, the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA) received logistical support from the United Nations Police to help strengthen and decentralize the LDEA’s reporting capacity between headquarters and the leeward counties.
The donation included eight laptops, eight modems, eight printers and boxes full of cartridges.
Making the presentation, UN Police Commissioner Simon Blatchly said, “as statistics and records are vital in intelligence gathering and profiling of suspects, it is very important that DEA keep proper statistics and records on drug related crimes.”
Commissioner Blatchly said without modern equipment, the DEA will not be able to keep records, “thus a statistics and records center is of utmost importance.” He said that the expected results of the donation are to enhance the operational performance of LDEA personnel in the leeward counties; to establish a new system for undertaking and reporting drugs statistics; to increase the intelligence capacity and cooperation between the LDEA and other law enforcement agencies; and to decrease the number of illegal narcotics on the streets of Liberia.
LDEA Director General Anthony K. Souh praised the UN Police for their tireless efforts to enhance the capacity of the LDEA. He said that this is not the first time the UN Police has come to the aid of the LDEA. The director also thanked the Liberian government and partners for their assistance to the LDEA over the years.
Thanking his officers for their dedicated service to Liberia, the LDEA boss called on the government of Liberia to increase the LDEA’s budget so that it can procure more equipment to enhance the effectiveness of the work of its officers.
“DEA officers are walking in the counties because we do not have enough cars for them to do their work,” he added.
Meanwhile, the LDEA director has called on Liberians to report the activities of drug dealers in their communities. He said drug abuse is a global phenomenon and called on the communities to weed out drug dealers and users from their communities to prevent Liberia becoming a ‘narco-state’ (a state run by narcotics) like Guinea Bissau. Director Souh said that if left unattended, drug abuse could become like the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, and called on all well meaning Liberians to collaborate with the LDEA to prevent that from happening.
“The drug dealers are your tenants. Put them out. Your children are being influenced by this,” he said.
Making a side note of how effective the LDEA has been in its fight against drug smugglers, Director Souh mentioned that two drug smugglers were recently convicted in Kakata, Margibi County and sentenced to five and ten -year terms of imprisonment.
After thanking the UN Police representatives at the presentation ceremony, Director Souh promised that the donations will be divided up and sent to the various leeward county offices to be used for their intended purposes.
“Our officers no longer have to handwrite their reports and send them by hand to us; they can now file and deliver them to us here at the headquarters electronically,” he added.