Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The Sierra Leone Police Force, which is the brainchild of the British Government, dates back to 1808 when Freetown was declared a British Crown Colony. In the absence of any formally organized body to keep the peace, some retired British Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates were appointed by Magistrates to come to Sierra Leone to maintain law and order.
Between 1863 -1888, the then Police Force had metamorphosed in order to address the ugly incidents which were rearing their heads, especially during the 1881 Koya and 1888 Sherbro disturbances.
These disturbances led to the deployment of Police along the frontier.
In 1889, therefore, the Police Force was divided – Military and Frontier duties were taken over by the FRONTIER POLICE, while Civilian duties were left with the Civilian Police.
The Frontier Police subsequently became known as the COURT MESSENGER FORCE, and were made responsible for the PROTECTORATE; while the Civilian Police were made responsible for the Colony.
On 27th October, 1894, in the Royal Gazette of that date, the Civilian Police in the Colony were given the designation – The Sierra Leone Police Force (SLPF). This name has remained unchanged, save for slight modification by removing the word “Force” from the full name, during the restructuring period.
With the advent of the Commonwealth Police Development Task Force Team (CPDTF) which later transitioned to the Commonwealth Community Safety and Security Program (CCSSP), the reformers saw the need to celebrate Police Week, in commemoration of October 27, 1894, and to recognize the achievements of past and present personnel.
Observance of this day, in the form of a Police Week celebration, was continuously done during the restructuring period, and intermittently continued with after the restructuring.
The last notable, but low-key celebration, was held in 2018.
Following presentations of trophies won by the SLP Male and Female Cricket Teams to the former Inspector General, the current Inspector General (Mr. William Fayia Sellu), who was part of the management team present on that occasion, signalled that Police Week celebrations should be resuscitated in 2022.
By divine providence, he ascended to the Office of Inspector General in July 2022, and thus re-echoed his plan to observe the 2022 Police Week Celebrations.
This year’s celebration is held under the theme: Let’s Build Bridges, Not Walls. This theme is symbolic of creating linkages with the diverse communities we work with, rather than separating ourselves from the people we serve. BT/20/11/2022