LDEA Receives Logistical Support from UNODC

first_imgMr. Thompson (R) presents keys of the motorbikes to Director Souh while two other officials look on.The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) in Liberia yesterday donated assorted office equipment and logistical support to authorities of the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency (LDEA).The items, according to William T. Thompson, the UNODC national project officer, are valued at about US$25,000.The donated items included one 50KVA Perkins generator; five brand new Suzuki off-road motorbikes; scales to measure illegal drugs; forensic equipment; four laptops; four desktop computers; and four printers.Other items are three photocopiers; three cameras; two audio recorders; one video recorder; and 100 crime fighting-related gadgets, with cases of outer-security belts.The items, Thompson said, are to help the LDEA strengthen and decentralize its reporting capacity between headquarters and the leeward counties.“Statistics and records the UNODC collected in the recent history of the LDEA have shown that fighting drug-related crimes in the country is difficult,” Thompson said, adding,  because of that, his office was donating the equipment to enhance the effectiveness of the LDEA across the country.He said it is also difficult for the entity to gather vital intelligence and profile suspected drug peddlers; and therefore, it was important that his office donated the gadgets for the LDEA to keep proper statistics and records on drug-related crimes.Thompson said without modern crime fighting equipment, the LDEA will not be able to keep records, “thus a statistics and records center is of utmost importance.”He said that the expected results of the donation are to enhance the operational performance of LDEA personnel; to establish a new system for undertaking and reporting drug statistics; to increase the intelligence capacity and cooperation between the LDEA and other law enforcement agencies and to decrease the number of illegal narcotics on the streets of Liberia.He said the donation was necessary because the LDEA wants to make Liberia a drug-free country, “therefore the UNODC was encouraged to donate the items to enable the entity to continue the fight against illegal drugs and suspected transnational crimes.”The donation, he said, were made possible with the support of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) through its advisor assigned with the LDEA, Rom Fleming of the US Embassy in Monrovia.For his part, Anthony K. Souh, LDEA Director General, praised the UNODC for their unwavering and tireless support, both in materials and training, to the LDEA over the years.Souh recognized the UNODC and other partners’ efforts to enhance the capacity of the LDEA, adding that the materials donated will be used for their intended purposes.Director Souh meanwhile challenged LDEA personnel to continue fighting the proliferation of illegal substances on the Liberian market without fear or favor to gain the trust and confidence of the public as well as their international partners.“I urge you to work harder than ever before to rid the country of dangerous psychotropic substances, which are harmful to the youthful population,” Souh said.He admonished the officers to whom the motorbikes will be assigned, to adhere to their proper usage and maintenance.He said drug trafficking brings about vices, like money laundering, which require vigilance in the fight against drug trafficking in the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Violence in juvenile halls soars

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Graham said the Sylmar facility had the most violence. In the first half of this year, there were 482 incidents of youths attacking each other at the Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, up from 439 in the same period last year, he reported. During the same period, there were 434 incidents at Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles, up from 299, and 441 at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey, up from 290. The probation officers are using new training in dialogue and crisis de-escalation techniques and limiting the use of pepper spray and physical restraints, but inadequate staffing hampers the success of these tactics, Graham wrote. In one-third to one-half of instances in which the staff uses force, the staff is intervening in the growing youth-on-youth violence, according to the report. Use of force by staff increased from 1,535 to 1,727 instances. “When (kids) know that intervention is not going to be swift and immediate, then that just rings the dinner bell for them to go ahead and attack each other,” said Ralph Miller, president of the 4,000-member probation officers union. Last month, hundreds of probation officers called in sick and staged a rally outside the county Hall of Administration downtown, urging the Board of Supervisors to approve a new contract that would allow the department to hire hundreds of new probation officers, as well as offer higher wages and benefits. The actions come more than four years after the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into abuses at the halls, finding that staff used pepper spray excessively, hogtied children and failed to meet the youths’ mental health needs. The Probation Department is making progress and has fulfilled 10 of 52 federal recommendations agreed to in a settlement last year, according to Ron Barrett, the department’s project coordinator for the settlement. He said new training for staffers ended in July, and that probation officers have now been trained in new techniques to deal with kids in crisis. He said he expects violence to begin decreasing soon. Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As Los Angeles County’s three juvenile halls have become increasingly understaffed in recent years, violence has increased dramatically, particularly at the Sylmar facility, according to a federal monitor’s report released Thursday. In his semiannual report, U.S. Department of Justice monitor Michael Graham said there has been a “disturbing upward trend of fights and assaults” among youths at the three halls. Violent incidents increased 12 percent from 2,094 in 2003 to 2,352 last year, he said. In the first half of this year, 1,357 incidents were reported – with a projection of 2,700 by the end of the year. “Inadequate staffing is, perhaps, the single greatest impediment to providing effective rehabilitation programming, ensuring the safety of suicidal minors, reducing youth-on-youth violence and reducing the number of incidents involving the use of force at the three juvenile halls,” Graham wrote. last_img read more

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