Several Top Police Officers To Lose Jobs

By: Morrison Sayon

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 7, 2004

Several high-ranking officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) may not form part of the incoming Liberia Police Service (LPS) expected to replace the former which is believed to be ‘polluted’ with unqualified individuals.

Disclosing this on Wednesday when he addressed a well-attended news conference at the LNP Headquarters, the head of UNMIL civilian police (CIVPOL), Commissioner Mark Kroeker said, with the recruitment process and the effects of changing out from the old and moving to the new, there will be many persons including senior officers and groups affected.

He said those senior police officers who will be affected will be carefully attended to by the Government of Liberia, but stressed that each individual and group will have a carefully analysis to see what becomes of them before they are catered to by government.

Though the UNMIL tough-spoken police chief could not point out any specific individual, the criteria stipulated in the new police guidelines has become the major worry for several senior officers who may not meet the required qualification to be part of the new force, since it is believed that some went to their respective positions through their political or factional affiliation.

Commenting on the ranking system in the police, Commissioner Kroeker noted that the ranking structure will be done on a meritocracy system, stressing that the UNMIL Police will make sure that positions will be given based on the merit system and not upon the order of politicians.

In accordance with Article 8 of the CPA signed in Accra, Ghana between Liberian stakeholders, it was agreed upon for the formation of a new police force to replace the present one.

The force should comprise qualified individuals who are physically and mentally fit, without criminal record, must have attained at least a high school certificate, among others.

With these criteria stipulated in the new police guideline, those senior police officers who passed through the ‘backdoor’ to obtain their respective ranks are expected to be dropped from the LPs since they will be asked to carry their documents and may not even have good human rights record, among others.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.