Former police members meet with Minister
Members of the Former Police Association of Samoa met with the Minister of Police, Sala Fata Pinati on Friday last week.
The meeting was to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding between the former police and the Ministry of Police about areas where they would require advice from their former members.
The Vice President of the Association, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia said they are very much attached to the work they were once part of.
“Even though we have left the Ministry, anything that happens to the Ministry, especially bad things, hurt us too as former members,” said Autagavaia.
“That is why we are trying to find ways to offer our support and stay connected with the Ministry so when they need the assistance of former members we can help. We can help out by talking to new recruits about police work and our experiences as well as how to handle the public in times of panic.”
The former member said they still feel that the relationship between the public and police needs to be strengthened by working together with matai when handling big issues in the villages.
“In those days, no matter the differences and disputes in the villages, when police visit the villages, they sit down with the matai and work together to assist the police,” he recalled.
“There are many differences nowadays and it’s probably because of different management and administrations and it can be improved.”
Autagavaia also made it clear that the former police do not have anything to do with the daily running of the Ministry and its decision making.
“They ask us what they need our advice on and we give advice,” he explained.
“The other thing that we raised with the Minister apart from an M.O.U. is we wanted to reinstate the position of cadets. In those days after you are recruited for three months you then start as a cadet.”
According to Autagavaia as a cadet, they are responsible for delivering summons letters where they are disciplined by a senior officer.
“The good thing about that is you get training from your seniors and it prevents those new ones who get really excited about being a police officer and tend to forget that when you wear your uniform it belongs to the government and the public…they should take pride in it and be respectful.”
He added that a general meeting will be called in the near future to discuss the initiative and bring the former police force together.