14 June 2017

Liberia: Police Install Street Security Cameras

Authorities at the Liberian National Police or LNP have begun installing security cameras on the streets, as way a of creating a safe city. Liberia's Police Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman told the New Dawn in an exclusive interview Tuesday 13, June that the security cameras which are currently being tested will be rolled out probably within the next two weeks, and that over 60 percent of Monrovia will be monitored by camera in the initial stages.

"In the next two weeks, let's say 60 percent of the city will be monitored," Col. Coleman said in an exclusive interview with the NewDawn at the Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.

Col. Coleman says police are closely working with the Liberia Telecommunication Corporations (LIBTELCO) in undertaking the "Safe City Project" that will lead to mounting cameras at unknown destinations covering over 60 percent of Monrovia.

He says a meeting has already been concluded with the general manager of LIBTELCO on all of the areas that will be captured while awaiting extension.

The cameras will be controlled at the police headquarters in Monrovia where police operatives will be zooming in at various designated posts to capture activities on a daily basis.

The security cameras may deter and capture whatever clandestine operations among police, vehicle operators and other road users, while at the same time capturing other incidents that may be of interest to security here.

The news of the installation of street security cameras is just a tip of the iceberg, as the LNP race to gain more professional status under its youthful looking director.

Touching on arms operation in the police force, Col. Coleman says that in as much as the Police have the right to carry arms not all the officers will be armed because much of their works are not weapon related.

He says right now the police have two units which are fully armed because they have been trained to and that refers to the Police Support Unit (PSU) and the Emergency Response Unit (ERU). He said in addition the police are also considering key individuals at higher levels to also be issued arms. He named zonal and regional commanders and their deputies across the country as those being look at in that direction.

The Police Chief says recent transformation including refurbishing of the police headquarters are not being done as a result of donor funding, but rather says the police authorities have simply changed "spending priorities" and to focus on things that would improve the institution's image.

He says police are trying to direct their spending on things that would improve the image of the police force, though he admits that the police force still has some challenges.

In the midst of challenges facing the police, Col. Coleman insists that if there is intervention that he would be seeking right now, his priority would focus on the welfare of the police officers and how to beef up the institution's capacity.

Additionally, he says the police are also concerned about continuously promoting the "No to Violence" message across the country, especially in these elections times.

He concludes that police uniforms and mobility are also key interventions that the police would appreciate to enable the force identify its officers properly, and make effective responses to calls from the public. .More from the exclusive interview will be published in subsequent edition

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