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To Enhance Police Professionalism: LNP Chief Outlines Several Measures

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By: Linda Gbartie

MONROVIA: The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Gregory Coleman has disclosed that the professionalism of police officers should always to be improved.

Col. Coleman disclosed that presently the LNP is looking at its administrative instructions and regulations to make amendments where necessary and more importantly to promote and incorporate more gender sensitivity into those guiding documents and continue to set up programs for In-service training for LNP officers.

He made the pronouncements on Monday, May 27, 2024, when he served as a Special Guest on the Super Morning Show on ELBC Radio in Paynesville.

Col. Coleman disclosed that his administration seeks to drive professionalism and continuously upgrade the professional skills of police officers by going back every now and then to get some refreshers.

“Professionalism in the LNP always has to be improved and that our officers are great and professional but they just need to be led in the right manner, and that is what we are doing,” he said.

Speaking on several developmental issues and challenges faced by the LNP, Col. Coleman mentioned the pending renovation of the Liberia National Police Training Academy, commencement of more in-service training programs for officers so as to bring them up to speed professionally.

He emphasized that overall, the call to duty has been very loud, and that officers have been quite receptive, working above and beyond their normal calls to duty.

“I want to say thanks to each and every one of them, those in leadership and others as well. We are not there yet, and we have our own challenges but, as we encounter the problems along the road, we will make the necessary corrections and keep going,” he noted.

He added that “the new Police Spokesperson who is a female is the best choice because they are trying to promote gender sensitivity and change the dynamics of how they deliver services.

He said the LNP is moving more towards community-oriented policing where they are going to do consensus building from the community.

“If you look at how we rolled out the exercise with the ongoing enforcement with the motorcyclists and tricyclists, it was a consensus building and having engagements and getting their support, so, these new approaches /measures create more opportunities and jobs for female officers,” the LNP IG stressed.

He added that LNP is keen on building the capacity of female officers for them to be able to take on most of these roles that will be driving the new agenda for the LNP.

Col. Gregory Coleman disclosed that public confidence in the police is very low.

According to him, there were services even before his administration that came in around the 2023 election period which they can be referenced by NAYMOTE and one other international groups, but there are other factors that people can look at to determine the confidence level of the public when it comes to the police.

He mentioned that some of the ways you determine that the public confidence in the police is low have to do with the number of cases that are reported to the police.

He added that when there is a significant drop in the number of cases that are reported to the police, it means that the people just don’t even trust them.

“The people will be like what should we even waste our time to come and report to the police when we know nothing is going to happen,” he said.

Col. Coleman highlighted that over the last three months, they have observed a little bit of increase in the public confidence based on available statistics.

“But, it is not at a point whereby LNP believes that the public confidence is there,” he stressed.

The Inspector General of Police emphasized that the LNP has to do a lot by increasing accountability, trust, and communicate better so that the citizens and residents can understand and believe in the police again.

“We are at a very difficult end of the situation, when you serve in police, especially in a nation where bad governance has been in green for a while and all of the anger and frustration of the people come toward the police. When anything goes wrong, they know that the police will stand up to provide protection for their rights and those who are not involved so, automatically, the police becomes the bad guy,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Col. Coleman said there is more aggressions towards the police because there is a serious lack in the deliverance of governance services which is a challenge for the police.

He warned that the police will improve its confidence if they are able to increase public trust and accountability and as well reach out to more to the communities and get their buy-in and try to build friendly relationships with the citizens and communities that will enable them withstand shocks and stuff.

He asserted that over the next three-to-four months, LNP is going to call for an independent survey to see what people’s confidence level is at that particular time.

The Inspector General of Police said that this current leadership of the LNP vision is to firstly ensure that police officers have democratic principles and know that the only reason they are there is because of the community.

He also revealed that their vision is to create safe environment where they can foster economic growth and development and advance the greater good of all Liberians in the country.

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