Monrovia — Ninety-two security officers, of both the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) and Liberia National Police (LNP) have completed training in special arm usage from the Liberia National Police Academy in Paynesville.
The training lasted for the period of one and half month and enabled participating officers to take assignment at various border points to Liberia.
Speaking Tuesday, June 16 at program marking the commencement of the training, Liberia Immigration Service Commissioner General Robert Budy said the new graduates will enforce effective border patrol in the country.
Buddy said the borders had been insecure, leading to illegal entry of people from other countries.
"Because, our borders had not been protected, some Guineans recently came into Liberia in some parts of Lofa and hoisted a flag.
Therefore, having these officers posted with special arm will help protect our boundaries," Budy said.
He said the fire arm training marks the first of its kind for officers of the Liberia Immigration Service, lauding the Liberia National Police and international partners for the exercise.
Buddy maintained that the LIS is collaborating with the joint security to calm down tension at these border points.
Budy further stated that apart from illegal entry, safeguarding the borders is important, due to current threat from Jihadists in the sub-region.
"With these kinds of threats unfolding, Liberia did not have the capacity to protect the border, so training of these officers is important. There have also been illegal entry of Burkinabe's into Liberia as well as wild life trafficking by these unscrupulous persons," he said.
In the meantime, Budy is urging all border patrollers to be vigilant in the discharge of their vigorous responsibilities.
He then reassured the public that the LIS is in full readiness to protect the borders of Liberia.
At the same time, Liberia National Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue has admonished LIS officers at borders point not to ignore COVID-19, but to keep enforcing preventive measures.
Sudue said officers must be cautious of the rules along entry points and avoid the use of force inappropriately in the discharge of their duties.
"Anytime, you discharge a weapon, you are going to account for all rounds given to you, therefore, do not forget about your rules, because it will help you in the discharge of your duties and observe human rights," Sudue said.
He commended weapon trainers for their tremendous efforts in ensuring that the officers are trained.
For his part, Arm Forces of Liberia, Chief of Staffs, Maj. Gen. Prince Johnson, wants those from the training to handle weapon in accordance with existing protocols of the joint security.
"Understand the Standard Operating Procedure, because the responsibility to use it wisely rest on your shoulders. Please do not mishandled the weapon," Maj. Gen. Johnson stressed.
At the same time, Johnson has emphasized the need for more logistical support to be given the security sector, to include border patrol officers.
He said the provision of more support to these officers at the border line will enable the joint security function properly.
Sunshine Isom, speaking on behalf of the US Embassy reminded the new security graduates that the responsibility given them is based on trust, urging them to handle it properly.
"You are given this responsibility, this is a responsibility of trust given to you. You have to handle it because it rests upon you adequately," Madam Isom said.