Police officers graduate with law degrees
Four senior law enforcement officers were amongst the 270 graduates who were conferred at The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P.) graduation last Friday.
Armed with their Bachelor of Laws degrees the senior officers who make up half of the class who graduated are now better equipped with legal knowledge to assist in upholding the law and protecting the community.
The police officers who graduated included the Deputy Police Commissioner, Papalii Monalisa Tiai Keti, Assistant Commissioner Papalii Eneliko Taeu Masipau, Senior Sergeant Apaula Taeu Masipau and Inspector Solomona Natia.
The Bachelor of Laws graduates include sibling Papalii Eneliko and his younger sister Apaula ,who are the children of Speaker of the House and the Member for Fa’asaleleaga No. 3 Papalii Lio Masipau and Galumalemana Sineva.
The Speaker was not only proud of his children following in his footsteps, but he was happy to see the push for academic excellence from those in the Police force.
A former Assistant Commissioner and also a lawyer by profession, Speaker Papalii said the success of the senior officers is an accomplishment for Samoa’s Police Service.
Similar to the graduates Papalii said he had to go through the same path of studying the law as it is the greatest weapon a law enforcement officer is armed with when they are called to duty.
“Understanding the law is crucial in the Police force not only does it protect you from your duty so that you don’t overstep certain boundaries it also protects the public,” he said.
“We have seen a lot of lawsuits against the Police in the past and studying law and understanding it will help officers to do their work lawfully and avoid legal claim.
“This is a great achievement not only for families of graduates but for Police itself because police officers are their assets.”
Speaker Papalii believes that understanding the law will prevent officers from getting on the wrong side of the law and improve their demeanour.
He added that the law of the land is based on the ultimate law which is the bible and knowledge of the law can also benefit one’s spiritual wellbeing.
Other graduates of the Bachelor of Laws class included Ailaouamaualealiioaiga Ned Asani, Shirley Annette Hunt, So’o Marlyter Perez, Levaula Agassi Harry Titimaea and Deborah Fatutoama Tuitama.
Ms. Deborah Tuitama is the daughter of former Minister of Health, Leao Dr. Tuitama and was also the recipient of the Telefoni Retzlaff Memorial Prize for top Samoan Law Student.
Another special award announced at the graduation last Friday was for the Top Animal Husbandry Student and Telefoni Retzlaff Memorial Prize which was awarded to Arieta Faaulu.
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