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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Police Boss Designate Promises Reform

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The Inspector General designate of the Liberia National Police, Col. Gregory Coleman has outlined four pillars of his administration if confirmed by the Liberian Senate– service, integrity, partnership and leadership.

Col. Coleman along with other prominent Liberians were recently nominated to serve in several positions of national government by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.

Appearing for his confirmation hearing over the weekend before the Senate Committee on National Security, Defense, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs chaired by Lofa County Senator Momo Cyrus, Col. Coleman recounted his 17 years of experience in the security sector.

He told the Committee Chair and members during the public hearing held in the main chambers of the Senate that these pillars focus on a people-first mentality because what is suitable for the Liberian people is good for the Liberia National Police.

The LNP Boss designate stressed that transparency, accountability, and trust will be the cornerstones of the work of the police moving forward.

“I am committed to improving the way we communicate with the community, ensuring that our actions are understandable and justifiable. We will be open about our policies, procedures, and decision-making processes.  I understand that trust cannot be demanded; it must be earned,” he said.

He noted that this can be achieved if the police work tirelessly to strengthen their relationships with the community, adding that they will engage in dialogue and actively seek feedback from all stakeholders.

“I encourage you to share your concerns, suggestions, and ideas. Together, we will develop innovative approaches to policing that address the unique needs of our community,” Col. Coleman averred.

According to the security expert, creating a culture of excellence, respect, and justice for all will be at the heart of their efforts, saying they will also invest in training and professional development to ensure that the officers have the necessary skills and knowledge to serve the community effectively.

The presidential nominee said the interactions of the police under his administration will be rooted in respect for the dignity and rights of every individual they encounter.

Col. Coleman further indicated that he understands that words alone are not enough and actions speak louder, emphasizing his commitment to taking concrete steps to bring about meaningful change.

“I will hold our officers accountable for their actions, and I expect nothing less than the highest standards of professionalism and integrity,” he intoned.

He however called on members of the relevant committee and every Liberian to join him on this journey toward a brighter future for the police force and the community they serve.

Col. Coleman appealed for their support, feedback, and partnership as the Liberia National Police navigates the challenges ahead, stressing that together, a police force can be built to keep the trust and reliance of the community.

“Finally, there is nothing more important than the Liberian people, and they will be central to every decision I make as Inspector General,” he added.

The LNP Boss designate recounted that during his years of service, he has learned that Liberia’s dynamic security environment requires factual reactions to changing situations on the ground to save lives and address security threats as they emerge.

“I also learned that simply reacting is not enough,” Col. Coleman stressed.

At the same time, the nomine has thanked President Joseph Boakai for the opportunity to return to public service and to lead the remarkable women and men of the Liberia National Police.

“If confirmed, I will do everything in my power to justify the trust placed in me and to earn the trust of this Committee, the Legislature, and the Liberian people,” he noted.

“My whole life has been shaped by public service and the virtues of faith, family, and hard work. Over the years, I have significantly contributed through teams of professionals towards strengthening the integrity of the institution, gaining the trust and legitimacy of the community, increasing accountability, and attracting the admiration of the force at the local and international levels,” Col. Coleman averred.

He stressed that the police force he is inheriting has faced its share of criticism and mistrust, recognizing the impact this has had on police’s relationship with the community.

According to him, restoring faith and confidence is of the utmost importance to his administration.

“I have experienced- just like nearly every living Liberian–fear in the absence of security and we have all seen what can happen when the foundation of the rule of law crumbles. The most fundamental building block of the foundation of the rule of law is a capable and just police force. It is essential for a just, prosperous, and stable nation, for healthy communities, and to generate opportunities and jobs for all citizens,” Col. Coleman said.

Meanwhile, the Chair of the Senate Committee on National Security, Defense, Intelligence and Veteran Affairs, Senator Momo T. Cyrus thanked Col. Gregory Coleman for his presentation and his response to random questions posed to him by the committee.

The Lofa County Senator disclosed that the committee will do due diligence and report to the plenary of the Senate in the coming week to take further legislative action either by denial or confirmation of the nominee.

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