Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil is a relieved man.
And following the Supreme Court’s decision to withdraw and dismiss the charges against him, he tells the Sunday Samoan he is looking forward to returning to work.
The decision by Court ends what has been a very tough time for the Commissioner and his family. Aside from charges including unlawful detaining of a person, disorderly conduct in a public place, perjury and making a false statement in relation to the wrongful arrest of member of the public at the Fugalei Market last year, Fuiava is also facing an internal revolt from his fellow senior officers.
Last week, a petition presented to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet called for Fuiava to be removed.
But the Commissioner is unfazed by the allegations.
“There have been a lot of personal attacks on me throughout this whole month but I tell you I don’t hold a grudge,” he said. “I just want to get back in there and do what I was supposed to be doing with the confines of the law and doing something that will makes us proud.”
The Commissioner said the position he holds is not his.
“The organization is mine’s, the laws are not my views but I am just there to implement whatever should have been done in the past.”
Fuiava said the petition is from Police officers who are opposed to the changes he is implementing. Many of them would be fearful about Fuiava’s return.
But they don’t need to, he said.
“If you work hard with a clean heart things will turn out okay and well,” he said.
“I got paid to come into the Samoan Police to do a job and I’m going to do it.”
Fuiava added he was not surprised by the petition although he said he had not seen it.
“All I know is I’m trying to do good in that organization,” he said.
“I’m still going to change, I’m will not only do our work but also I want them to think. I need critical thinkers up there, I want leaders in the Samoa Police.”
Fuiava accepts that he will not be liked by everyone. He also invites Police officers who are unhappy with his leadership to seek other jobs.
“Maybe the Police is not the place for them?”
At the end of the day, Fuiava said he has a job to do and part of it includes making changes where necessary.
“I’m a very proactive individual; I want change, change of mindset and do the right thing.”
The Police Commissioner added that Police officers are being paid by the government and the people of Samoa and they are there to serve a mission.
“They are there to work hard, follow policies and follow directives but if they fear working under such leadership then this is not the place for them."
“I’m just here temporarily. It’s not my office, I don’t own this place but I’m just here to make it better and to improve the service and to be sure that we provide the best service to the public."
“If you are not excited to come to work and not passionate about your work, maybe you should find another job.”
Fuiava said he doesn’t know when he will resume work.