By JAMES APA GUMUNO
ACTING Highlands police divisional commander Supt Thomas Eluh said he fears those who have acquired firearms in the Southern Highlands, and are not benefiting from the multi-billion kina LNG project, will be mobilised.
“It is a ticking time-bomb that will explode if the Government does not act now,” he said.
“Police manpower in the province is 118.
“Given the nature of the LNG project and influx of people into the province, we need about 1,000 police personnel.
“We need to reopen nine rural police stations and deploy more policemen in every district to maintain law and order,” he said.
Supt Eluh said peoplecomplaining about being excluded in the benefit sharing agreement have blocked roads and cut down power posts.
“It seems the Government is not fully prepared for the multi-billion kina project. Before the project is in full swing, the Government must equip police, customs, immigration offices and other agencies that will be involved in the project,” he said.
Supt Eluh said a team has been set up to review police logistics, manpower, infrastructure and other needs in order to compile a report for the police commissioner.
The report will cover how to maintain law and order with the LNG project implementation, Supt Eluh said.
The team will talk to ExxonMobil and others for assistance, he said.