The National, Friday November 1st, 2013
By FRANCIS POKA
POLICE officers in Tari have been instructed to return to work after their recent standoff with soldiers.
Hela provincial police commander Kenzly Tojune Sailas organised a parade to address the officers on Wednesday.
The standoff between the members of the two disciplined forces was over the alleged involvement of police officers in alcohol smuggling that soldiers stopped at a roadblock.
The soldiers reportedly were upset when the police officers involved in the smuggling were released by the constabulary.
Sailas told the police officers at the parade there had been a lot of negative public comments on their work but they must carry on. “We, as law enforcers, are here to protect the lives and properties of people and we will continue to perform our duties,” he said.
Sailas encouraged the officers to win back the confidence and support of the people.
“We need public assistance to deal with crimes,” he said.
He assured communities in Hela the incident between the two disciplined forces would not happen again.
He said eight police officers had been charged in relation to the incident. Three were charged with escorting and smuggling of beer and five for removing guns from the soldiers’ vehicle.