The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: UL to Introduce Associate Degree in Criminal Justice

The president of the University of Liberia, Dr. Emmett Dennis has pledged his administration's full support to the National Police Training Academy (NPTA). Dr. Dennis who served as the keynote speaker, at the 39th graduation ceremony of the NPTA congratulated the LNP authority for their efforts in upholding the Rules of Law by installing discipline in them.

Dr. Dennis reminded the graduates that they do not need to obtain higher education before making the difference as the work they have to do is a tedious one and someone must take the challenge. He lauded the graduates for the bold steps taken to become a police officer.

Furthermore, he instructed his VPA to help in the curricular development of the NPTA associate degree program and pledged the University of Liberia's full support to the NPTA strives to offer associate degree in Criminal Justice.

Speaking also at the ceremony the LNP boss Director, Chris Massaquoi said as UNMIL is gradually drawing down, it is the Government of Liberia's responsibility to protect her citizens and the Liberia National Police is that arm of government which is responsible for internal security. In that vein, the LNP has trained over 4,200 officers currently serving the country ranging from class 1- 39. On November 24, 2012, The Liberia National Training Academy, which is the training arm of the Liberia National Police, trained and graduated 99 students comprising of four females.

Out of the 99 graduates 35(Thirty-five) graduates originated from Lofa County and 9 originated from Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties, respectively. The rest originated from the other political sub divisions.

Director Chris Massaquoi extended his heartfelt thanks and appreciations to family members of the graduates for allowing their relatives to serve their country. He added that as the graduates have been assured as police officers they must do away with corruptions and act in accordance with best practices and professionalism. The LNP boss acknowledged the Norway Government for erecting three modern structures with a female dormitory, dining hall and a college at the academy-NPTA.

According to Director Massaquoi before his appointment as Director, the highway patrol team was ineffective but now he has empowered the highway patrol team and operations to be very effective. He told the audience that those prisoners who broke the Grand Gedeh Prison were arrested by the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and while in an exchange of gunfire two escapees were killed. He then alluded to the code "Operations Safe Haven" at which time ghettos and some criminal hideouts were raided and over 200 criminals arrested and they are to appear in court soon. But he said when those criminals are sent to court within few days they are seen in the community again, so he is calling on the Judiciary and the Justice Ministry to review the laws.

Finally, the Director called on the public to report police officers who violate their fundamental rights to the Professional Standard Division.

Another speaker at the program, UNPOL Commissioner, Hon Jack John Nielson cautioned the graduates not to engage in unethical practices. He said these practices undermine the credibility of the police and makes it difficult for the public to repose confidence in the police.

The ceremony was attended by Inspector General Chris Massaquoi, Deputy Inspector General for Operations Abraham Kromah, Deputy Inspector General For Training & Development Samuel F. Dakana, UNPOL- Commissioner- Hon John Jack Nielson, and UNMIL Staff at the academy, Freddie Taylor, Deputy Minister for Public Safety- MOJ, French Ambassador, as well as Dr. Emmett Dennis- UL President and Keynote speaker at the ceremony.

Deputy Minister for Public Safety, Hon. Freddie Taylor, Jr. proxied for the Minister of Justice, Christina P. Tah and swore in the graduates.

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