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It won’t be easy, new PNG police chief admits
8:25 pm GMT+12, 10/05/2015, Papua New Guinea

The police force has been allowed to derail and it will be a challenge to put things back in place, said the reappointed  Papua New Guinea Police Commissioner Gari Baki.
 
“With due respect to the outgoing commissioner, I don’t think he was given the kind of support that he needed and that’s the challenge that I will take on when I go in.”
 
“I cannot deny the fact that the constabulary has been disintegrated. It’s one of the initial tasks that I will take up to pull people back together so that we stand and work together in the interest of the people of Papua New Guinea,” Baki said.
 
He said getting the constabulary on track was not his responsibility alone, rather it was the responsibility of every policemen and women. “They must remember that they’ve sworn an oath to serve the people of PNG and they have to stand firm on that,” he said.
 
“I think because there’s lack of control from the top down, the young policemen and women have seen that lack of command and control and have waived back.
 
Baki said this was one of the first things to sort out, to get everybody back and to tell them that they were the police force that was supposed to serve the people of PNG and everybody had a responsibility to restore police credibility.
 
He said although the challenge was of a bigger magnitude, it was not an impossible task for him to achieve.
 
He said being out of the force for the past five years on the outside looking in had given him a different perspective and he would go back with this different perspective to deal with the challenges.
 
Baki, currently the chief of the National Intelligence Organisation, said before taking up his new post he wanted a proper farewell for the outgoing commissioner Geoffrey Vaki. He also had to sort out things at the NIO office before moving on.
 
Baki becomes only the second police commissioner to be reappointed after leaving the force after Henry Tokam.
 
Meanwhile, the police union has welcomed the re-appointment of Gari Baki as the new Commissioner of Police.
 
PNG Police Association president Leuth Nidung and general secretary Clemence Kanau said Baki had a better track record in addressing the welfare and conditions of the policemen and women.
 
“The police union welcome the decision by the Government to appoint Gari Baki back to the Royal PNG Constabulary at a time when the Police Department is struggling to get its administration and operation act together.”
 
Nidung thanked the Government of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for its decision to make the changes at the top police hierarchy.
 
“The National Executive Council decision is no doubt a welcome news for the union and its serving members who are policemen and policewomen.”
 
The president and the general secretary said that Baki was a career police chief, and the union leaders has every confidence and were confident his appointment would be fruitful in the improvement of the force given the security planning for the Pacific Games and APEC meetings.
 
“The union leadership are confident also that many welfare issues affecting the members of the RPNGC which Mr Vaki refused to address with the union will be discussed with new Commissioner Baki in his term as he was instrumental in improving the terms and conditions of policemen and women during his term in the past as Commissioner.”
 
Nidung and Kanau jointly welcomed Mr Baki back to the RPNGC and looked forward to a fruitful working relationship unlike the outgoing commissioner Geoffrey Vaki.
 

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS


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