The United States Department of Justice (ICITAP) and the USAID has certified 16 general duty Police Officers and 9 CID by the Ambassador of the USA.
In his statement Ambassador Michael Owen, said that because the Police Force are the front line of defence, they have come under lot of public scrutiny and are sometimes unfairly criticized by the public.
In November the Ambassador said, the USAID, ICITAP and the Sierra Leone Police launched the security programme and that the U. S Police advisors worked with the SLP to create and implement an innovative strategy, which focused on micro-training modules, peace concerts and posters to prepare the police for the elections.
The SLP Owen said has a very important role to play and as the first line of defence they should be properly trained and given adequate resources to enable them carry their job of enforcing the law, responding to emergencies and assisting people in the country. That is why he said they needed to be trained.
The number of the force, according top the Ambassador has been increasing over the years, and this growth has some challengeslike “ease of travelling to remote villages.” Therefore the Ambassador said, “they have to be creative in how you disseminate information and roll out training.”
Ambassador Michael Owen said that since the end of November, the U.S police advisor Rick Collinge has worked with the SLP to develop a broad training strategy that featured the development of traditional training modules.
He said the training demonstrated that low-cot development strategies can be implemented and sustained when “a true partnership exists between the US Embassy and the government.”
The 25 officers including 9 from the CID participated in the ICITAP investigative training while 9 SLP master instructors have also been crucial in the process.
The Inspector General of Police Francis Munu thanked the US Embassy for the training saying this is an effort to strengthen governance in the country.
He said this is an addition to the numerous training the Police has been receiving but this will enable them to work more efficiently and effectively.
Training the IG said is key for the police as one of their primary function is to ensure stability in the society therefore they need to upgrade their skills with refresher courses.
He called on the officers to use the training in a productive manner, as no knowledge is wasted and they should always try to pass it on to others.
By Betty Milton