-As DEA, LNP Tussle Over Who To Arrest Drug Users
By R Joyclyn Wea
The Liberia National Police (LNP) has begun tracking alleged armed robbers and drug users in different localities across Liberia amidst the rapid increased of illicit drugs in different parts of the country, something the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) sees as overshadowing of function on the part of the Police.
As part of the LNP raiding exercise, the commissioner of police along with his men arrested some alleged drug users and notorious armed robbers within the Barnesville community.
Speaking on April 9, 2018 via mobile, the commissioner of police refrained from giving detail information regarding the arrest but mentioned that four notorious criminals had been arrested.
This he said is part of measures employed to keep community save.
Many wondered how persistent this exercise would be in term of fighting crimes across the country and going onward to raid ghettos and coming down hard on drug users; but the commissioner of police noted that they are going to do the best they can ensuring that the goal of the exercise is achieved adding that in the next couple of days, they will be going out of Monrovia.
The exercise which had been ongoing for a week seeks to amongst other things reduce the number of crime rate and come down hard on would be drug users in the country.
Commissioner Mieke Gray withheld naming those targeted areas on grounds they do not want to put those guys on the alert in these areas noting “We are going after them and we are not going to stop.”
He however, encouraged community dwellers to come up and report anyone involved in this act in as mean of supporting the LNP order to move the nation forward as he vowed to protect whistleblowers.
“The process is about whistleblowing and we have a system in place that you can only talk to the commissioner of police or102 and not all police personnel so as to save or protect community dwellers who will be releasing information to the police about ghettos,” he said.
Meanwhile, the DEA boss Michael Wesseh contested that it is not the function of the Liberia National Police to go after drug users and raiding of ghettos, but rather the LNP is to provide technical support to the DEA who is charged with the responsibility to carry out such function.
The DEA said such action is a breach of authority and contravene the law. The DEA Commissioner Wesseh noting that the police not knowledgeable on how to go about and the procedures involved in raiding ghettos and coming down on would be drug users.
He mentioned this should rather be a collaborated effort of both the DEA and the LNP in which the police would serve as supporting arm to the agency in the raiding of ghettos.
“That is a good initiative on the part of the LNP; but, the police supposed to buttress the DEA by assigning men or officers with them to carry out this function,” he further argued.
The police seem to be more concern about the crime committed by those drug users because some of those guys are perpetrating crime by attacking people in the street and communities therefore it is important to raid this area thus making them unsettle.
Wesseh asserted that both function come to play saying “the DEA do the arresting and normally turned over the Liberia National Police when there is a crime.”