Samoa new police chief a veteran of the LAPD
Samoa appoints a new police commissioner who has experience on the streets of Los Angeles.
Egon Keil, who is former Los Angeles policeman, has been appointed Samoa's new Police Commissioner.
Mr Keil, who is 50, is the son of a prominent businessman, Maposua Rudolf Keil, who runs the country's first FM radio station.
Under amendments of the Police Act, he is the first person person to be appointed with outside police experience and qualifications.
The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, has told reporters the new police commissioner has outstanding knowledge from his career in the police force in the United States.
Our reporter in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, told Don Wiseman about the new police boss.
AUTAGAVAIA TIPI AUTAGAVAIA: Egon Keil, according to one of the family that I spoke to, one of his brothers, has been in the LA Police Department in the United States for 17 years. And he returned home two years ago to run his own businesss in Samoa. But he was one of the applicants for the top job in the Ministry of Police.
DON WISEMAN: It is a very unusual background isn't it for a police man in Samoa?
ATA: I cannot recall the last time the government appointed someone outside of the Ministry of Police to become the new police commissioner. And I think the amendments in the Police Act in 2014, which now includes Samoans or non-Samoans who have served in police departments in other countries, who can also for the top job in Samoa.
DW: There have been a lot of problems within the police force going back some time now, so bringing in this outsider, is that a good move or a bad move? And how is it going to go down with the staff, the public?
ATA: The most important thing is that someone with police work experience and qualifications and I think that is why the government has made this appointment right now, because according to the prime minister in a media conference, he [Egon Keil] was outstanding in the consideration of all the candidates by the government committee which interviewed all 13 applicants.
DW: So I guess the oddity is always going to be that LA is such a huge place and then there is little Samoa and there must be dramatic differences in the types of policing required.
ATA: Well you can imagine if you work in the Ministry of Police or the Police Department in the United States there are so many crimes, it is a very huge country. Bringing that experience to Samoa which is very small in size, and the population is very very small, I think that experience that the new commissioner is going to introduce into the Ministry of Police here, is very important, because, looking at the number of crimes, like cyber crimes and other new crimes that Samoa has never experienced before, and I think the appointment by the government - it is about time to have someone with that kind of experience to be running the Ministry of Police here.
DW: Egon Keil he is from a very well known family in Samoa of course. Before he went to LA what was he doing?
ATA: Well I think he is a United States citizen and he went to school there and then he went to the police academy, and graduated as a qualified police officer in the LAPD, and that is where he has served for 17 years according to his brother.
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