Sierra Leone’s Vice President, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has cautioned personnel of the Sierra Leone Police to be apolitical in providing security and safety as the country enters crucial electioneering period this year.
Vice President Jalloh urged the personnel to continue to treat Sierra Leoneans with respect, courtesy and more importantly, respect for fundamental human rights.
Vice President Jalloh encouraged police officers to be law abiding and keep away from crime and corruption, stressing that police officers are not above the law.
He told the police to play their part of the social contract, as Government fulfils its own part. He stressed on the need for the Sierra Leone Police Force to be professional and committed to hard work at the highest level, noting that professionalism is not just about behavior but by demonstrating oneself in public places.
“Government will not tolerate any individual, group or political party to undermine public order”, Vice President Jalloh warned. He stated that anyone who venture to violate public order, such persons will be dealt with within the good spirit of the law.
He encouraged every citizen to conduct themselves peacefully.
The Vice President Jalloh disclosed that perpetrators of last year August 10 violence who attacked and killed police officers are still being tracked for arrest to appear before the court of law, as others arrested before now are presently before the court to account for their actions.
He reiterated that Government will deal with the last person involved in last year August 10 insurrection.
Vice President Jalloh said that in 2018 when the New Direction Government assumed office, the Sierra Leone Police Force was confronted with laws that delayed rice supply for months, poor state of mobility capability such as vehicles and motorbikes for effective policing across Sierra Leone, poor salaries, irregular promotion, and welfare conditions.
He stated that those challenges affected the moral and operational capability of personnel in the police Force.
The Honourable Vice President noted that the New Direction Government decided to address the many challenges of the police, furthering that those gains have improved the welfare and put the Force in the position to carry out their duties.
He narrated the achievements to include the payment for backlog of rice by the Bio’s Presidency inherited in 2018; the procurement of vehicles and motorbikes to help the police daily operational work; regularising fuel supply to support operations; the progressive increment of salary from 10% between 2018-2019, and 25% increment from 2020 to present; provision of Government Grant-in-Aid to eligible 241 police in tertiary institutions; and the recruitment of 4500 personnel from 2018 to present including the graduating recruits and the recruits that are to enter training school few weeks from now among others.
He thanked the leadership of the Sierra Leone Police, the Minister of Internal affairs, the Sierra Leone Police Council for their contributions towards the rapid and progressive transformation in the police Force.
He assured of Government continue investment in police welfare that will enhance their operational capabilities in fulfilment of President Bio’s commitment to the police Force.
The Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police, William Fayia Sellu said the passing out ceremony of the recruits marks the beginning of maintaining their positions in the Force, adding that the recruits will be deployed to various locations nationwide.
He advised them to stay off harmful drugs, and encouraged the new police personnel to master the use of their weapons in line with the police rules of engagement.