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26th Police Academy kicks off with 32 recruits

The 26th Police Academy kicked off yesterday with training inside the conference room at the OMV in Tafuna, with 32 recruits. [photo: AF]

Police Commissioner Le’i Sonny Thompson has called on recruits of the new police academy not to deviate from carrying out their duty, which is to protect the lives of the com- munity — young and old — including many foreigners who have made American Samoa their home.

“This is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. For the next ten weeks, you’re going to be educated and trained on what police of cers do, day in and day out. Your priority is the lives of our people and it’s not an easy job. You are offering your life to protect the public,” Le’i told the 32 recruits during yesterday’ s opening of the 26th Police Academy at the OMV conference room in Tafuna.

The 26th Academy concludes Dec. 15, 2017.

Rev. Faafetai Fuimaono, the Tafuna Correctional Facility chaplain offered the opening prayer; while senior police staff including Deputy Com- missioners, Falanaipupu T. Sagapolutele and Vaimaga Maiava were present during the program.

During his special remarks, Le’i recognized the presence of the Criminal Justice Planning Agency (CJPA) deputy director, Leonard Seumanutafa, for providing federal funding that supports not only the new police academy, but also supported the previous one.

Le’i told the recruits that Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga send their best wishes to all of them, who have made the decision to become law enforcement officers for the government of American Samoa.

“I believe even at this point you have made the right choice. We have had some short meetings and you performed well during the physical part of it. You have been selected because you have passed the entrance exam,” the Commish said.

He told the gathering that when you become a law enforcement of cer, it doesn’t matter what you do during the day. When something happens, you’re always on the frontline to protect the people.

“We are now moving for- ward with the type of training you need and I want you to know that this is not a easy task. We’re hoping that in the next ten weeks, you will learn every- thing that you can possibly can, not only about performing your job, but also about yourself,” Le’i said. He advised them that if a call comes in for police assistance, and the responding officer discovers that it involves their family, it the officer’s duty to do the right thing and follow the law.

“Your job is to follow the law. You don’t take sides, even when it comes to your family. If your family is involved, you don’t side with your family. You stand on the side of the law,” Le’i emphasized.

He encouraged the recruits to stay healthy, work together, and help each other graduate.

The Police Commissioner then thanked his staff for their hard work in making the Academy a reality.