Friday, May 23, 2008

Challenges of Police Training in Sierra Leone

By Mohamed Massaquoi and Kevin Hill
May 13, 2008

The SLP are trying to improve on the standard of the training recruits receive to ensure effective policing for the public, but face numerous challenges to reaching their goal.

Chief Superintendent of Police in charge of Training and Curriculum, Theophilus Senesie, said it was not an easy task to train police officers, specifically general duty personnel to international standards.

“It involves hiring trained and qualified experts to provide technical and professional training to personnel”, he observed.

He said the implementation of an updated training manual has combined with the rise in commodity prices to postpone the start of training to June of this year.

“We want to include human rights, gender and other professional areas so that our officers can maintain the best practice”, he said.

Senesie believes that the SLP must get university graduates to lecture at the training school, to that end they have made an agreement with the Special Court for Sierra Leone to lend officers for training on humanitarian law.

The SLP are to train 600 police officers across the country this year, including 200 OSD officers, but training has yet to begin.

Some applicants for the Sierra Leone Police Force have alleged that a lack of food and other resources are the reasons behind a delay in commencement of training for new recruits. The SLP have denied the claim stating that there has been no delay, but conceded that they were struggling with the global rise in commodity prices, like gas and food.

“We all know what is happening at the global level, therefore the (training) process needs to go in stages”, Senesie added

Senesie promised that training would commence within two weeks.

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