By: Eldred Wlemongar Thomas
The Liberia National Police Training Academy has graduated one hundred and fifty two officers following intensive two weeks of training in rioting, crowd and civil disturbance control to mitigate potential violence.
Those graduated include twenty female and one hundred and thirty two male
The 152 new Police Support Unit (PSU) officers were trained by the French Government with the name PSU Gendarmerie Class II to mitigate potential pre-elections, elections and post-elections disturbance in any manner and form.
Speaking Friday at the graduation ceremony in Paynesville Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman stressed the need for the officers to always respect human rights and dignity of those they serve and protect.
Col. Coleman told the graduates that respecting human rights remains fundamental in the execution of their duties as law enforcement officers, and further urged them to utilize the minimum use of force in putting whatever situation under control.
He admonished the graduates to always remember that they are under obligation to ensuring that the ethics go with the tactics to which they have been trained.
“As we come draw closer to the crucial 2017 elections, the need for readiness in crowd and civil disturbance control cannot be overemphasized, the Police boss noted”.
He added that the force is tremendously working It is behind the scene to mitigate what could be potential violence especially during the elections.
He pointed out that the LNP is getting ready prepare for the worst.
Col. Coleman then commended the French government and its teachers who contributed in training the men and women of the LNP, PSU Gendarmerie Class II.
He stated that the French Government has continued to stand with the police in the areas that are most needy, mentioning the supply their non-lethal materials among others.
Col. Coleman recounted the infamous November 7, 2011 demonstration at the headquarters of the Congress for Democratic Change with its low non-lethal capacity; an incident he emphasized will never be repeated.
For his part, the French Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Joel Godeau said his country, since 2010 has regularly been providing special assistance to the PSU of the LNP by organizing annually, a training focused on what he described as mob democratic management among others.
“During the past two weeks, two experts of the French Gendarmerie, Maj. Ste’phane Bontemps and Sgt. Maj. Julien Lantoine shared their experience with the Liberian officers by giving them the most sophisticated techniques of the maintenance of law and order,” he said.
He recommitted his country’s support to helping in strengthening the capacities of the Liberian National Police Force and to contribute to the success of the ownership by the Liberian authorities of the security of the state.