–As Rescue Alternatives Liberia Ends Community Policing Forum
In an effort to fight crimes and make Gbarpolu County safe for all, citizens of the county have proffered measures that will ensure the county is safe for all irrespective of status.
At a one day community policing forum in Bopolu city, Gbarpolu County organized by Rescue Alternatives Liberia, a local nongovernmental organization, the exuberant citizens said community policing forum has been one of their major quests in cementing their relationship
According to them, such initiative will help strengthen their relationship by reporting criminal activities within their respective communities in the county, but called on the police and other security personnel in the county to protect whistleblowers if they must make progress.
The one day forum brought together members of the joint security council of Gbarpolu, community watch forum, market women, community leaders, to brainstorm on amicable ways they can collaborate to make Gbarpolu County and other frontline communities safe for all.
At the end of the forum, the citizens and security agencies recommended that “citizens report criminal activities or give info at all times, that airtime be provided on the radio station in Gbarpolu to provide awareness, that the Liberian Government ensure that community watch forum members are trained and to the task to help the police, that the police and other security agencies network with the CSOs in fighting crimes, that the security agencies protect whistleblowers at all times, that all stakeholders provide supports to the community policing and they must get involve, that security agencies help retrieve stolen properties of citizens at various checkpoints, and there should be specific numbers for reporting.”
Speaking as one of the facilitators during the forum, Varmah G. Dixon, the Police Commander of Gbarpolu reminded the citizens that police and other security agencies depend on them seriously in fighting crimes and making communities safe.
Commander Dixon who lamented logistical and manpower constraints said they can’t be everywhere at the same time in the county and as such; the roles of community members in partnership cannot be overemphasized.
He said the citizens can help arrest people who come in conflict with the law, but with care, and conscious.
Also speaking, the County Administrative Officer who represented the Superintendent of Gbarpolu County, called on the community members to begin seeing the need to settle manner offenses at the community level instead of reporting which according to him is contributing to the overcrowding of prison facilities in the county.
Forkpa D. Karmon said to ensure the security of the county is prompt, they have setup what he calls County Security Mechanism with the aim of making the county safe from criminal activities at all times. This, he said will ensure the security issues of the county is not with the uniform officers alone, but all.
At the same time, the Acting Clerk of the 16th Judicial Circuit Court in Gbarpolu County, Z. Emmanuel Worlubah called on complainants to ensure they have all relevant evidences to fast track their cases which will make the accused to have their days in court and help reduce overcrowding of the prison.
Worlubah told the assembled citizens that they will always missed out on their cases if they can’t produce evidences to adjudicate their cases or else, the accused will be released through proper legal means after three terms of court.
“There should be due diligence for the accused to have their days in court,” he said. He added “we are concerned about pretrial detainees.”
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of Rescue Alternatives Liberia, Sam M. Nimely has appealed to citizens of Gbarpolu county to ensure that their worse are transmitted into actions to ensure the collaboration works for all.
Nimely said no community can be safe without a genuine collaboration between the community members and security agencies in fighting crimes together. This, he said will ensure smooth working relationship at all times.