New PNG police chief aims to solve discipline issue
The new police commissioner in Papua New Guinea warns the force will face more changes in its leadership.
The new police commissioner in Papua New Guinea says he is the man to bring discipline to the local force.
In the third change in chief in four years, Geoffrey Vaki was sacked and replaced by Gary Baki last week.
One of those changes involved Mr Baki, who was suspended from the role by the previous government in 2011.
The police in PNG have had disciplinary issues, with officers involved in numerous violent incidents often involving alcohol.
Mr Baki told Koro Vaka'uta he faces many challenges but is confident he can achieve results.
GARI BAKI: Government has clearly indicated there is a complete breakdown in the command aspects of the constabulary. So this is for me that is the first challenge that I have to put in place which means that, which means that if I have to replace people that are currently in command, I will do that and I will look at the requirements, the operational requirements of the constabulary so that I can position people directly responsible to my intentions of how I want to change the constabulary.
KORO VAKAUTA: Why do you think there has been these problems, issues, concerns with the constabulary?
GB: Well simply it is a break down of command and control. There is virtually no command and control and you know public perceptions of the police is that because of those kind of things that exist in the constabulary there is room for allegations of ill discipline, allegations of corruption in the police. So we need to bring some credibility, I want to bring some credibility into the police force.
KV: How will you be different from the Gary Baki that was Police Commissioner before? What will you do differently?
GB: I will be more visible in everything that I do and I will expect that policemen will abide, I mean police men and women will abide to the instructions of the police commissioner, in respect to the requirements on what I want so that the image of the constabulary that has been tainted is put back in our own foot. So that people know that people know that there is a police force that is serving the interests of Papua New Guinea.
KV: And the Police Union has recently come out and has come out in the past talking about how the leadership in the constabulary was too old and needed a change. That there were too many older people in there that needed to retire. Is that something that you agree with? What is your response to those?
GB: Yes that is why I have projected this idea of change in the structure. It is time now that we give opportunity to the younger generation of Police Officers to come up and take command of the constabulary. But they need a commissioner that can mentor them, they need a commissioner that can provide leadership and I believe in myself that I can do that. That I can guide these young people so that, two years three years down the line I can go fully satisfied that I have left the constabulary to the younger generations to take it on.
KV: What makes you the man for the job?
GB: Well I believe I can, I believe in myself and I believe that I have the support of the men and women to take the constabulary forward.
KV: We talked about the new structure so there will be wholesale changes?
GB: Not totally wholesale changes but there will be changes made to key positions that I will need people to be more reactive to the needs of the constabulary and what is required of them to do.
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