American Samoa Commissioner On A Mission To Restore Respect, Trust In Police

Thompson reestablishes Internal Affairs Division, creates Drug Free policy

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, April 4, 2017) – Commissioner of Public Safety Le’i Sonny Thompson is on a mission to restore the “respect and trust in our police officers” and in doing so he has reestablished the Internal Affairs Division; established a Drug Free Work Policy; and will fulfill their oath in accordance with the law and without hesitation.

Responding to Samoa News questions over the weekend following the arrest of police officers with the Juvenile Detention Center, Le’i said “there is nothing in this job more prevalent and has an immediate effect on low morale within the department and most important, betrayal of public trust and confidence, than a bad cop.”

The Commissioner also issues a bold warning to criminals or those involved in criminal activity in the Territory — that the Department of Public Safety will fulfill their duty in accordance to the law “without hesitation”. 

Le’i told Samoa News, “I am very proud of becoming the Commissioner of such an elite group of professional men and women. And although they are overworked because of manning authorization and underpaid, the majority of officers are very dedicated and display a great deal of professionalism.”

He pointed out that “like all organizations” there are still a few who are not in compliance and are non-believers, “which gives a bad reputation to the rest.”

According to the Commissioner, “Not everyone can and should be afforded the privilege of being a police officer. It is a way of life; a profession not just a job — the vanguard of law and order; peace and security in our community.”

Le’i has also re-established the Internal Affairs Division that was dismantled by former Commissioner Save Liuato Tuitele.

The Commissioner said that this would ensure that he brings in the ‘best’ to the police force. “To ensure that we recruit the best and keep the best; I have reestablished the Internal Affairs Office to make sure that every police officer, ‘top to bottom’, is aware that any leads from the general public and all alleged violations of the law or engagement in illegal activities both on and off duties will be subject to immediate investigation. And if found substantiated, will result in immediate recommendations for termination and prosecution.”

The Internal Affairs Division is headed by Captain Pierre Clemens, who previously held this position.

Le’i reiterated the need to restore the public’s trust.

“We must restore respect and trust in our police officers. At the same time we are asking those who are engaged in illegal activities — especially drugs which are affecting our youth in schools and threaten peace and order amongst our elders; elected officials; government leaders and the general public etc.; on the highways and our community; and, compromise the safety of our police officers — to “CEASE AND DESIST.”

He said, “Our oath and promise to the general public is ‘TO SERVE AND PROTECT”, and we will fulfill it in accordance with the law and without hesitation.”

Le’i further stated that DPS is currently waiting on their new ‘Drug Free Work Place Policy’, which is being finalized with the Attorney General’s Office.

This core initiative “Drug Free Work Place Policy” is not only a first for DPS, but was also accomplished within 90 days of the new Commissioner’s tenure. “This concept is born out of Governor’s strategic outlook for the Department and Fono leaders’ recommendations during my nomination process. This is a by-product of that wisdom and our long-term strategy to restore public trust and confidence in the Police Force.”

The Samoa News
Copyright © 2017. The Samoa News. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment