Monrovia -- The Liberia National Police (LNP) has made changes to its allotment in the 2017/2018 National Budget, proposing that the budget be upped from US$17 million to US$29.2 million.
In a document detailing reasons for the 60 percent increment submitted to the National Legislature by the Inspector General of Police, Col. Gregory O. W. Coleman, the LNP revealed that over 80 percent of the current budget goes towards paying salaries – leaving them with very little to work with.
According to the National Budget drafted by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and submit last month to the Legislature, the FY2017/2018 budget for the Liberia National Police is US$17.8 million.
More than US$14 million of that goes towards personnel costs leaving just under US$4 million for other operational costs such as domestic and foreign travel, laboratory supplies, and vehicle repair and maintenance.
The document says that the limited funding makes “it almost, if not impossible, to run the operations of the institution with (US$3,768,143.00) barely 20.95% of the total budget.”
Along with basic day-to-day operations, the document also mentions the upcoming elections and the increased need for resources that will come with “the expected increase in operational activities.”
Police Spokesman, Sam Collins told FrontPageAfrica, “We need to meet up with policing obligations in providing comprehensive security package for the people of Liberia. We believe that when the budget is passed it will address our concern. We are confident that with the presentation given to the legislators they will give us what we are requesting for.”
Some of the changes proposed by the LNP request funding increases for line items very specific to policing.
For example, they requested that the current budget for laboratory consumables, which include the forensic and crime lab, be increased to US$250,000 from US$1,000, a 250% increase.
The document said the current budget limited the laboratory and made them “unable to respond to and address most of the homicide and other related cases brought before it at the result of lack of financial and logistical support.”
Some of the other requests are more mundane such as an increase in funding for cleaning supplies or the addition of funding for employee I.D. cards, an item that the document says has been left off the budget for more than three fiscal periods.
Whether or not they receive the extra funding is still to be seen but the Liberia National Police ends their plea by emphasizing the need for a strong and well supported police force.
“Let us remember that the security of the state is every body’s business; and that we as a nation can boost of no development in the absence of a robust security, noting that robustness depends on the amount of logistical and financial support the security gets from this government through your intervention,” the document averred.