By: Eldred Wlemongar Thomas
The Swedish government through its Embassy near Monrovia has launched a new cooperation project between the Liberia National Police and the Swedish Police valued at US$3.2M, approximately 30 million Swedish Kronas.
This new collaboration is the Swedish and Liberian Police Cooperation Project, it is expected to benefit several zones and deports of the Liberia National Police including Zone 6 in Brewerville, Zone 8 in Paynesville and Zone 10 in the Doe Community on the Bushrod Island.
According to Swedish Ambassador Lena Nordstrom, the Cooperation is line with her government’s development cooperation strategy with Liberia for 2016-2020 amounting to one hundred and fifity eight million United States dollars.
Ambassador Nordstrom said the strategy has three areas of focus, which she named as Basic Crime Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation with specific focus on crimes related to Sexual and Gender Base Violence.
Swedish Ambassador Nordstrom spoke Friday when she 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.
The Swedish Envoy also pointed that the new cooperation will take interest in human security, pro poor growth, and democracy, gender equality and greater respect for human rights.
Ambassador Nordstrom believes that with such Cooperation, the collaboration between the Police and the Prosecution Service can become more strengthen and effective.
She added that the Police Cooperation Project addresses the issues of trust by building the capacity of the LNP in their service delivery to the citizens of Liberia.
“Trust is built when there are regular and respectful engagements between communities and law enforcement officers,” the Swedish diplomat noted.”
Ambassador Nordstrom further pointed out that state institutions like in the Police Force can only be strong if those they serve trust their ability to deliver services that can impact their lives and society.
According to her, the new Police Cooperation demonstrates Sweden’s renewed commitment and strengthened ties between both countries.
For his part, Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman thanked the Swedish government for the permanent bilateral tie that exists over the years.
Speaking further, the Liberian Police Chief recounted several assistance, not only to the security sector, but in other areas of development which continues to tremendously help Liberia in achieving its development agenda.
He assured the Swedish government through its Embassy in Liberia that the Police under his watch will ensure the implementation of the new Police Cooperation.
The Police Chief expressed delight that the Cooperation will assist Police Investigators to gather evidence and facts from Crime scenes, this he noted is vital for prosecution.
He also used the occasion to challenged officers of the LNP to cultivate a sense to duty by coming more robust in mitigating potential conflict in communities.
Col. Coleman said officers should not only see their responsibility to affect the arrest of citizens who come in conflict with the laws, but must be able to speak with them on their duties and responsibilities as citizens.