Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Crimes and Investigative Task Force (ITF) Commander, Hodges Ette, made this known in the wake of mounting suspicions from police in Southern Highlands that they will be subject to investigations as well.
Ette revealed this in a recent parade at the Mendi Police Station.
He said the province’s police personnel’s fundamental duty to provide services to the public must be upheld at all times.
“The ITF is here to provide them the support and to ensure we continue to provide policing services to the locals. The special operation in Mendi is to support the work of local police and they must take the lead.
“I know there are some issues within but channel them through the normal channels to be dealt with,” he said.
Commander Ette stated the special operation is only interested in what occurred on June 14 and the investigations will not and should not affect the local police operations.
“We are here to find out what happened on June 14 and that’s all. We are not going to investigate our local counterparts. That is my assurance,” he said.
Ette, who will also overseeing the office of ACP Highlands – Western End, said police in Mendi must continue to provide services to the local populous.
He told the parade that after the destruction of the airplane and other important government services in Mendi, many of the government officials were not really functioning. He said this must stop as they have a duty to perform and must give priority to it.
“We must restore peace and pride back in Mendi and normal life of business and other functions must continue at ease. We have seen those changes taking place and our presence will ensure those things happen,” Ette stated.
He said they must also play their fundamental role as policing officers and if need be to arrest someone, they have to. He said the destruction of court houses doesn’t mean there is no judicial service in Mendi. Petty crimes are offences as well and there are remedies to deal with them including doing community work.
For other serious crimes, they need to liaise with their nearest court houses which are Nipa and Ialibu district court houses where they can go for court matters.
“We are trying to arrange how best we can bring those offenders to court houses for their cases and subsequently transfer the remandees and/or convicted prisoners to appropriate detention centres,” Ette said.
Meanwhile, the Acting Divisional Commander appealed to other public servants to continue providing services to the people of Mendi and Southern Highlands. They must not give excuses of last month’s destruction and roam around at will.
“Investigations are continuing and we need all the public servants to return to work and provide government services to the people. Our primary duty is to provide services,” he said.
(Acting ACP Crimes Hodges Ette addressing the Mendi police personnel at the Mendi Police Station in the Southern Highlands Province)