L.T.A. traffic officers have to go through Police Academy
Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) traffic officers will have to go through the Police Academy and pass all necessary training before they are accepted into the Samoa Police Service.
That is the view of the Police Commissioner Fuiavailiili Egon Keil, when he gave an update on the status of L.T.A. traffic officers, who now find themselves unattached following Cabinet's decision last month to remove all traffic enforcement powers from the authority and give it back to the Police.
He said L.T.A. traffic officers who cannot find a job elsewhere and choose to join the Police will be subject to their recruitment processes including passing through the Police Academy.
"The people who will be coming in as police officers — you have to by law, you have to go through proper steps — you can’t just bring someone in and make them a policeman.
"You have to go through the screening process, make sure that you don’t have any criminal history, work ethic is good, that you’re not a drunk, no one who does drugs and I’m not saying that they are but we have to screen everyone who comes in to the Samoa Police now," he explained.
"And then we have to put them through Police Academy to make sure they understand all laws of Samoa and I as a Commissioner of Samoa Police is confident in this individual to go and perform duties as a Police officer.
"Before anybody comes over, fully as a police officer, they have to go through the mandated procedures, policies and laws, and that’s going through the Academy," he added.
Fuiavailiili said they already had a transition plan in place, to cater for the transfer of L.T.A. traffic officers. But they are yet to hear from the authority, in relation to the affected officers.
"We're already doing transition plan, we already have that for these new employees that come back but until L.T.A. releases their people, as of now, I still don’t have anyone from L.T.A. who is traffic over at the Samoa Police and we have requested those individuals, but no one has come yet.
"But we do have a plan, we’re just now waiting for them to come over and then we can go the smooth transition but also understanding that there are still laws that apply to the L.T.A. that needs to be changed as well," he said.
Fuiavailiili said the Police recruitment process is supported by law and it is done to ensure that the individual is fit to undertake Police duties, even former police officers have to undergo the same process.
"So they have to do screening; just because you were a police officer before doesn’t mean you can just come back, put on the uniform and then put you on the street, because you might not understand the new laws that are in place.
"It puts the Government at risk and it makes the Police Ministry look bad and most importantly it’s not safe for you, because this individual does not know your rights and what the law is and how to apply the law," he added.