House Committee on National Security On Dress Code of Police Officers, Launches Probe into US$10M Expenditure at Project Implementation Unit

By: Eldred Wlemongar Thomas/GNN-Liberia Senior Reporter/

Rep. Alfred Koiwood
Rep. Alfred Koiwood

Gbarpolu County Representative Alfred Koiwood has expressed shock over the dress code of many Liberian Police officers, and the lack of needed logistics to effectively executive their constitutional duties.

According to Representative Koiwood who also serves as Chairman on the House Committee on National Security, he has commenced an investigation into the expenditure of ten million United States Dollars to purchase of uniforms and other materials for the Police by the Project Implementation Unit under the Ministry of the Justice Ministry.

According to the Gbarpolu lawmaker, US$15 million United States dollars was appropriated by the Executive for the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia, and as Chairman on National Security he lobby with his colleagues and said money was increase to US$20 million.

He furthered narrated that at the beginning of 2106 another US$10 million was allocated and disbursed for similar reason,  but security apparatus especially the Liberia National Police continue to complain for the necessary logistics.

Representative Koiwood wants Project Implementation Unit under the Ministry of Justice answer to questions and concerns raised over the extreme difficulties Police officers experienced due to the lack of needed logistics.

He said the amount was intended to purchase vehicles, uniforms, boots lethal and non lethal weapons among others for the smooth and effective operations of the Police, but officers still appear appalling on the streets on Monrovia and other parts of the country.

In an angry tone, he lamented and wonders why should law enforcement officers carrying the Flag and Seal of the Republic lack essential tools they should have to such extend.

He said the Committee will forward a comprehensive recommendation to Plenary for prompt action.

He assured that his Committee will exercise its Legislative oversight to ensure that the Project Implementation Unit produces a comprehensive Budget performance report on the expenditure of the 10 million United States dollars.

“The issue of security must be taken lightly especially as UN Mission in draws down and as the country moves to a democratic transition comes 2017, the lawmaker indicated.”

Representative Koiwood registered his displeasure at the weekend when Swedish Ambassador Lena Nordstrom handed over a Letter of Intent by the Swedish Development International Development Agency, SIDA through the Swedish-Police Authority in support of the Liberian National Police in Brewerville.

Koiwood at the same time commended the government of Sweden for the new cooperation, something he expressed delight will help address some of the many challenges the country’s is faced with.

The new Cooperation named the Swedish and Liberian Police Cooperation Project is expected to benefit Zone 6 in Brewerville, Zone 8 in Paynesville and Zone 10 in the Doe Community on the Bushrod Island.

The Cooperation is line with her government’s development cooperation strategy with Liberia for 2016-2020 amounting to one hundred and fifty eight million United States dollars.

It is expected to focus on basic Crime Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation with specific focus on crimes related to Sexual and Gender Base Violence.

The new cooperation will also take interest in human security, pro poor growth, and democracy, gender equality and greater respect for human rights.

The Lower House National Security Chairman concluded that the new pack will significantly help the Police force, while making specific reference to the gathering of evidence and facts from Crime scenes, this he noted is important to boost prosecution.

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