17 January 2013

Liberia: Corruption Rooted in Liberians - Police Chief

Police Director Chris Massaquoi says it is imbedded in Liberians that people don't want to abide by law and order, but often, they tried to bye-pass systems with the intent of offering bribes.

"This not because the police is ineffective, but because people don't want to abide by rules," said Director Massaquoi, while giving a scenario on a recent situation of violation he arrested.

He made the comment Wednesday at a joint year-end press conference with UNPOL Commissioner John Nielsen at the National Police Headquarters in Monrovia.

But during the news conference, Director Massaquoi differed with public criticisms against his principal deputy Rose E. Stryker, who in an attempt to defend the police against public perception that they were corrupt, outlined numerous challenges faced by police officers, including low salaries, which constrained them to receive bribes to cater to their families adequately.

On Wednesday, January 9, 2013 Deputy Director Stryker argued that US$150.00 monthly salary being paid a patrol officer for instance in a tough environment, coupled with constraints of their children school fees, high rental fees at US$75.00 monthly, amongst others, could prompt corruption.

In defend of his deputy's comment, Director Massaquoi insisted: "Let us make it clear that Deputy Stryker in her statement was not in anyway, form, or shape supporting corruption and will not support corruption whether in the LNP or anywhere else."

He strongly argued that she was only pointing out some of the challenges the rank and files officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) are faced with and the effect these may sometimes have on the individual.

However, Director Massaquoi has warned drivers, commercial motorists as well as the public, not to give bribes to traffic officers "because you may equally be charged for bribery."

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