Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana has registered Government’s total commitment in alleviating the constraints facing the Sierra Leone Police Force.
He made this statement in an orientation seminar organized by the Executive Management Board of the SLP for him as chair of the Police Council, and the Minister of Internal Affairs Suliaman Dauda Kamara, at the Police Officers’ Mess, Kingtom, to abreast them with the operations of the various divisions within the SLP.
The Vice President said he was conversant with the problems facing the police and commended them for their exemplary and professional role demonstrated during the last general elections.
He registered his satisfaction over the briefing on the operations of the force and admonished the police to continue their good work in the maintenance of peace and security without which he said no nation could prosper.
Vice President Sam-Sumana expressed thanks to the donor partners for their immense contributions towards the enhancement of the Police Force.
The Inspector General of Police, Brima Acha Kamara while giving an overview of the Command Structure of the Force, said the Police Force was established by the Constitution which provided for checks and balances without which any head of the force would abuse or misuse his office.
IG Acha Kamara informed the Vice President that before the war, the police was highly politicized and because of this in 1998, the government solicited assistance from Commonwealth and DFID which gave birth to the Government Policing Charter that “is now used to restructure the SLP, making it a force for good”.
He told the gathering that over the year, lots of gains had been made in reducing crime in the country through local needs policing by establishing local Policing Partnership Boards all over the country.
The IG revealed that the Executive Management Board cut across all regional and tribal lines, thereby rendering the force professional and effective.
The Police boss frowned on political affiliations to misguide the force, citing the situation wherein police personnel who had honourably retired wanted to use politics as a means of reentering the force; pointing out that a change of government did not mean a change in the operations of the police.
He maintained that the police was part of the elections victory as they provided a level playing field for all political actors stating that, “I don’t think any one will have the wishful thinking to make the people disown the force”.
D.I.G Oliver Somassa spoke about the Police Force’s 2006-2008 Strategic Development Plan in which the force operates its polices and programmes. He intimated the Vice President that the plan, which is now outdated because of the many challenges facing the police during and after the elections, would be reviewed and updated soon.
The DIG advocated for financial and as well as housing facilities for the personnel to live a decent life and meet the challenges in the execution of their duties.
Divisional heads dilated on their areas of responsibilities whilst a conducted tour of the Kingtom Transport Division of the SLP by the Vice President climaxed the orientation exercise.