Police Minister Bryan Kramer mentioned this in Parliament whilst responding to a ‘question without notice’ from East Sepik Governor Allan Bird.
In today’s Parliament sitting, East Sepik Governor Bird asked if there are any plans to plug the gap whilst waiting for new officers to be trained under a two-year program. He is concerned that this gap, which currently exists, and has existed for some time, has contributed to the lack of command and control in the police force.
“I give you an example; our police station commanders now are actually non-commissioned officers. We’ve run out of qualified officers at that level,” said Governor Bird.
The Governor was hoping the government could take advantage of the partnership program with Australia, to put a temporary plug in the gap.
“Because Mr Speaker, recently on the weekend, just on Saturday, I heard police officers who, after a brawl, burnt down a village in Wewak. And these sort of things while we normally have reasonable operation of policemen, from time to time, because of that lack of command and control at the police station commander level, you always get breakdowns where men don’t respect the commander and they end up doing things like this.”
In response, Police Minister Bryan Kramer said discussions are underway with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to provide assistance at police stations.
“We have many graduates who are now coming out of universities and are without a job. And this focus is on national service, nation building,” stated Kramer.
“So we are looking at programs to recruit them, put them in a high-level training – under AFP training programs – and they get deployed.
“So right now if you want an officer to do anything, he will say I want K100 a day. And if you don’t pay them K100 a day, they don’t want to do it.
“So the plan now is to put in 50 high-level graduates into the training college and then deploy them into a province. And if some old officers they only want to work K100 a day to do an operation, even when they are living there, then they will be set aside and new officers will carry out their task without having to pay them K100 a day.”
Kramer says this should make the Royal PNG Constabulary more competitive.
(File picture of a police parade outside the Boroko Police Station in Port Moresby)