The budget of the Liberia National Police (LNP) has been increased from US$15Million to US$21 Million in the proposed 2014/2015 budget expected to be submitted to the 53rd Legislature.
Making the disclosure over the weekend at the 42nd graduation ceremony for over 300 police officers, Finance Minister Amara Konneh said in the Fiscal Year 2014/15 draft budget, government has appropriated adequately for training and logistics for the LNP and other security institutions.
He said despite the overall budget risks, the government has significantly increased allocation to the sector from US$82million to over US$94million. As a result, the LNP's budget is expected to grow from US$15.2million to US$20.5 million.
The Finance boss noted these efforts over the past four months show how much government can achieve if it continues to work together with shared determination.
Serving as guest of honor and keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony of the over 300 officers, Minister Konneh salutes the graduating class on behalf of President Johnson Sirleaf.
"Let me take this moment and salute our graduates and assure you that Her Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the leadership of the LNP and myself are all proud of you. We're proud because we are convinced that you have been challenged, and given the appropriate training; and that you have demonstrated the commitment, diligence, honesty and humility that it takes to be a public servant," he noted.
He said in the next three years, government has committed itself to doubling the size of the Liberia National Police to 8,000 trained officers to be deployed throughout the country with the required logistics. "To achieve this, we have put together an ambitious work program that requires training and deployment of 900 officers yearly, beginning July 2014," he said.
Minister Konneh noted that the class of 42 stayed in field training, much longer than the established timeframe, while the Ministry of Finance, the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC), the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the heads of security institutions and international partners sat around the table weekly, to solve all of the control issues and disbursement bottlenecks to graduating the class, and ensure that the police force is well equipped to meet the challenges out there.
Speaking earlier the Inspector General of Police, Chris Massaquoi, welcomed the graduates into the force. Inspector Massaquoi told the officers to be clear in their job to serve, and not to go contrary to the laws of Liberia, reminding them that the job of police is not to get rich.
The LNP boss said he will be a 'no nonsense' Police Director, warning that if any officer falls short of the law, "I will not relent to be a no nonsense director if you get involved in things that do not represent the LNP."