President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has mandated the Liberia National Police (LNP) not to relent in the execution of its duty, as the country depends on the police force for the provision of security amidst ongoing drawdown by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
An LNP release says President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued the mandate on Saturday at the National Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill, while addressing the police general assembly.
She called on the police leadership headed by Chris Massaquoi to do all it can to ensure that maximum security is put into place as the country celebrates the Christmas and New Year festivities.
President Sirleaf said her government is not ignorant of the difficulties the police face within the execution of their duties, but promised the government's commitment to addressing the logistical plights of the force as they protect lives and properties of Liberians, including other residents.
As part of the celebration of the general assembly, President Sirleaf presented a check for $50,000.00 United States Dollars to the LNP and stressed that the money should be used "for the men and women that are seen in the sun day and night and not the top brass of the force."
She however praised the police for what she described as "their endless sacrifices rendered the country under difficult circumstances."
"I'm impressed by the work of the police force in the country especially those gallant men and women that are seen standing in harm ways, executing their functions," an LNP release quotes President Sirleaf as saying.
Justice Minster Christina Tah also lauded the police force, saying "much has been done to improve the image of the force." Minister Tah, also the Attorney General of Liberia, praised the police for the manner in which they handled the November 7 "CDC Manorial Day".
She said the Justice Ministry is aware of the constraints faced by the police, but called on them to look forward as the government was doing all it could to meet the needs of the force as they provide security for the state.
Cllr. Tah announced that the Justice Ministry is in strong contact with other foreign institutions to address some of the challenges the police faces, especially in addressing rape issues in the country.
For his part, Police Director Chris Massaquoi told the gathering that the Liberia National Police has been able to reduce crimes in the country since the launch of "Operation Save Heven" and assured the President that the police will remain vigilant in the provision of law and order in the country.
Director Massaquoi reported that his administration has been able to reduce the rate of police brutality due to the disciplinary measures put in place by the police leadership.
The Police General Assemble is an annual event that brings together all officers of the force to reflect on the achievements and challenges facing the police.