April 28, 2016 Patrick Jaiah Kamara
Inspector General of Police Francis Alieu Munu Tuesday, 26 April, 2016 launched new police uniforms sewed locally by his men at the Sierra Leone Police Garment Factory in Kingtom, Freetown.
According to Mr. Munu, the move was not only to differentiate between junior and senior police officers but also to encourage local talents and cut down on the cost of production as they spent Le8 billion on uniforms last year.
He revealed that some 1,500 uniforms imported from China didn’t fit any of his officers as there were some physiological differences between Chinese and Sierra Leoneans.
“The biggest size for the Chinese is the medium size of my officers. About 1,500 uniforms cannot fit any of my officers. So having our own factory to prepare our uniforms is a big step forward and cut-down of funds,” he said, adding that the construction of the garment factory and all the machineries cost below Le8 billion.
He disclosed that 10,000 new uniforms have been prepared by the local officers.
The move, according to chairman of the event, Assistant Inspector General of Police Richard Moigbe, who is also the Deputy Inspector General, was to ensure their men are always uniformed in their outfits. He noted that over the years there had been some mismatch in terms of shape, size, style and appearance of officers’ uniforms.
“We are going to get rid of this mismatch called uniform. We are going to have a proper uniform. They are going to be various categories in size, shape, rank, and a particular uniform for special programmes,” he said.
He revealed the police force would also introduce a policy that would guide officers in how to use the uniform and their appearance, adding that the rationale was to ensure discipline among their ranks.
Giving a background to the uniform policy, Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed B. Kamara said that earlier in 2015 the Inspector General instructed the head of human resource to set up a committee that would look into the uniform policy and appearance of officers.
CSP Kamara, who also chaired the committee, said it took them six weeks to put the document together, which is now called Uniform and Appearance Policy, adding that it follows provisions in the 1964 Police Act, although new ideas were incorporated in the policy.
Among the new ideas was the re-introduction of the gray line on the trousers, which is locally known as the ‘salaba line’, to be used by constables and other ranks, white long sleeve to be used by Superintendents and Chief Superintendents, he explained.
He disclosed that a different uniform has been designed for police labourers, new recruits, pregnant female officers, among others.
He said the dress code for female officers was also taken into consideration when drafting the new policy. He said some female officers were in the habit of fixing artificial hair and wearing tight trousers that expose their bodies, a practice he said was wrong.