The United Nations Development (UNDP) with support from the Government of Norway has turned over to the Government of Liberia an 11-room Regional Training Center constructed in Harper, Maryland County.
The facility is to be used to build the capacity of the Liberia National Police and other security Agencies including the Bureau of Corrections, Fire Service, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and the Drug enforcement Agency, and is part of efforts to strengthen and decentralize capacity building of Liberia's Security Sector as UNMIL draws down.
The facility is composed of classrooms, offices, library, kitchen, dining area and bathrooms, and comes at a time the LNP is conducting training of more officers in order to reach a target number of 8,000 prior to the drawdown of UNMIL.
The facility will serve as a back up to the Liberia National Police Training Academy in Monrovia and a regional hub to be constructed in Zwedru Grand Gedeh County, one of which already launched in Gbarnga Bong County.
The total cost of this project is put at US$187,033.90 dollars, of which the Norwegian Government contributed US$153,038.90 (one hundred fifty three thousand thrity eight dollars ninety cents) for the construction of the center while UNDP contributed US$33,995 (thirty thee thousand nine hundred ninety five dollars) for solar lights, furniture and kitchen utensils.
Speaking at the dedication of the training center the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police Chris Massaquoi described the construction as critical to the overall security of the country and the first in its history adding, that capacity building will help security agencies provide professional service delivery to the people of Liberia.
He applauded the support of Norway and UNDP, but reminded central government of its responsibility to maintain and equip the facility which he noted will enhance the effectiveness of the police.
The Police Inspector General also commended police officers for exhibiting professional behavior but urged them to re-examine their conduct regarding their engagement with citizens.
"Bribery is out of the question, unethical behavior is not allowed and extortion will not be tolerated or condoned" intimated Inspector General Massaquoi.
Speaking earlier, the Political Development Councilor of the Government of Norway Fred Rasmussen committed his government to continued support to the Security and Energy sectors of Liberia, emphasizing excellent cooperation with UNDP and the LNP in building human resource capacities.
Also making remarks, UNDP's Resident Representative Aeneas Chuma who is also the UN Resident Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Consolidated Democratic Governance, of UNMIL, pledged the support of the UN to work with the Liberian government in strengthening security institutions and promoting the rule of law.
Mr. Chuma said capacity building remains critical to service delivery for communities which truly adds value and builds trust between the LNP and its citizens. He urged the LNP to use the facility to its full potential, but equally bearing in mind to properly maintain it.
The occasion was also graced by the presence of the South African and Nigerian Ambassadors accredited to Liberia. Ambassadors Cigozie Obi-Nnadozie and Masilo Mabeta stressed the importance of working together as Africans to achieve more development results and promising to partner with Liberia to regain its status among the comity of Nations.
Local Government Officials including the Superintendent of Maryland County Nathaline Tubman and Senator Dan Morias recognized the deficiency regarding the capacity of police officers but emphasized the need to continue to engage international partners to support Liberia's security sector to sustain the peace.