The Liberia National Police Inspector General Gregory Coleman has maintained that the LNP will not tolerate any form of violence during and after the 2017 Presidential and Representatives elections, warning that the police will drastically deal with anyone or group of individuals that will want to undermine the peace of the country.
IGP Coleman said semblance of pre-electoral violence in some quarters were troubling and promised that an immediate investigation has been launched into the recent Clara Town and Margibi County incidents, stressing that those involved will face the consequences of the law. The Liberian Police Chief said the 2017 election was pivotal to the country’s emerging democracy and called for citizens’ support for police during the elections activities. IGP Coleman said violence was not the way forward in handling issues that will erupt during the electoral process and encouraged aggrieved parties to seek the rule of law to remedy their concerns. Speaking Tuesday in Margibi County when the Liberia National Police, Carter Center, the Swedish Embassy and other partners launched the “DON’T BRIBE THE POLICE’’ and ‘’YES TO PEACE, NO TO VIOLENCE’’ Campaign, the Inspector General called on Liberians to work with the Liberia National Police in addressing some of the issues confronting the police. He said his administration was focused on rebranding the image of the LNP to make it more acceptable to the public. He said the LNP administration was concerned about allegations of bribery from the public against the police, stating that the campaign will help the public to understand their role in keeping the police clean from such allegations. Coleman called on the public to desist from acts that will corrupt the police, and admonished police officers to be professional in dealing with the public. He lauded the Carter Center, Swedish Embassy, USAID, JPC, and the government of Liberia for supporting the initiative, stating that such support will greatly help in the rebranding process of the police. Also speaking at the forum, the newly accredited Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, H.E. Ingrid Wetterqvist, said the issue of trust must be seen as a two-way streets if bribery must be addressed in the police. She said both police and the public should work together in addressing the situation. The Swedish Envoy said her government will remain supportive of the country justice system. For his part the Chief of Party of Carter Center Pewee Flomoku pledged his organization commitment in working with the Liberia National Police to build its capacity. Flomoku said the police role was very critical in the Liberian society, and stressed the need for citizens’ support for the police. He said the” Don’t Bride the Police” Campaign being supported by the partners to include his organization is intended to build citizens’ trust within the police. He said Carter Center will remain engaged with the police in addressing some of the public perceptions confronting the institution. He praised the Swedish and other partners for showing interest in the Liberia National Police. The program was attended by a cross section of citizens, and officials of local government in the county.