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01.03.2005 General News

Police Personnel Disenchanted

By Lens

The Police administration's decision to extend the stay of the Police contingent currently on peacekeeping mission in Liberia for another six months is causing considerable agitation among Police personnel, particularly those who have passed the selection examination and are awaiting their turn to go on peacekeeping.

Some of these personnel who spoke to The Lens on strict conditions of anonymity, say the decision of the Police administration to extend the period effectively means that they have lost their chance to go on the mission.

They explained that to qualify to be considered for a mission, police personnel are required to undergo strict selection examinations and other tests, most of which are really difficult to pass. However if within a year of having passed the selection examinations, one is not sent on a mission, he/she would have to undergo another selection examination all over again.

The affected police personnel contend that having gone through a virtual inferno to go through the selection examination, it will be most unfair to require of them to go through the whole strenuous and costly selection examination one again, especially since they have no guarantee of success.

"We recognise that going on missions overseas is not a right, but that does not mean that we should be unfairly treated. Some of us are of the view that these missions abroad have greatly enhanced the image of the Police service since police personnel return from these mission better placed financially and socially which has helped reduce corruption in the Service. Even the possibility that police personnel may go on a mission is itself an incentive for good behaviour and an encouragement to eschew corruption," they said.

"It is important," they argue, "that the Police administration ensures that police personnel do not lose hope in the process; and the only way to do this is to be fair to everyone. If a mission is to last six months it must not be extended beyond six months when there are other qualified personnel to also go."

The Lens investigations have established that the police contingent currently on peacekeeping in Liberia were scheduled to return in March has the duration of their stay not been extended for another six months.

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