Police screening kicks off in Malakal

6 Feb 2012

Police screening kicks off in Malakal

3 February 2012 – In a continuing effort to improve the South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) in Upper Nile State, a screening process to determine their ages, fitness levels and numbers began today in the capital Malakal.

"The aim of this screening is to find out the number of the police officers who are working in the state and how physically fit they are to perform their police service," said Upper Nile SSPS Police Commissioner Maj. General James Beil.

The screening, to be led by an SSPS committee in collaboration with UNMISS and the UN Development Programme, will cover all police departments across the 13 counties in the state.

"The screening process will go from unit to unit," Maj. Biel said. "Today we have started with the traffic police unit and when that unit finishes we will go to another unit until we cover all the units."

The commissioner said that an officer would be discharged from the police service if found to be over the age of retirement or no longer medically or physically fit to perform police duty.

The screening, the first to be conducted in Upper Nile and other states since the independence of the Republic of South Sudan, will take two to three months to complete.

Corporal Thabu Ayul, a traffic policeman, lauded the screening exercise. He said that the SSPS would be able to do more accurate budgeting by knowing the total number of officers in the state.

Separately, Police Commissioner Biel said that the crime rate in Malakal had dropped in 2012 due to the regular joint night patrols of the police and Sudan People's Liberation Army.