Upon assuming office as Inspector General of Police in 2020, Dr. Ambrose Michael Sovula vowed to transform the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) by embarking on full scale human capacity development aimed at helping the Force to deliver effective policing services to the people of Sierra Leone. This is predicated on the fact that when a man is academically and professionally capacitated, he can be effective and efficient in the work environment’.
It is worth mentioning that IG Sovula is not new to training. At some point of his career, he served at the Police Training School in capacities of Chief Training and Curriculum Development Officer, Deputy Commandant, and Commandant respectively.
These positions he once held had enriched him with knowledge and skills to discern the benefits of training of personnel in an organisation and how structured and tailor made trainings could further contribute to overall growth and development.
Through a well mapped-out training needs assessment which he spearheaded, Dr. Sovula was able to identify training gaps within the Police organisation. Having identified these gaps, he has since been working assiduously to cater for both local and international courses that could help to provide these skills set needed within the organisation.
IG Sovula is on record to have used his negotiation skills to convince his counterpart in Nigeria to offer him space to train twenty senior police officers in Strategic Leadership and Command Courses held at the National Institute of Police Studies; he continues to attract and enjoy training support from the Egyptian Government through the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa in different policing areas. The US Embassy in Sierra Leone also continues to support the SLP with courses hosted at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
At the local level, he has empowered the Training Department to deliver different training packages to personnel on courses ranging from Induction, Development, Tactical, Operational, to Management.
The SLP is also benefiting from cross fertilisation of skills, knowledge and ideas; as the SLP continues to send personnel to participate in security sector training organised at the prestigious Horton Academy of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).
In a bid to continue with this drive, Dr. Sovula further resorted to seeking support from the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the United States of America – His Excellency Abou- Bakarr Sidique Wai.
Ambassador Wai, who, in January 2022, was in Sierra Leone, engaged the Inspector General of Police and his management team. The objective of the engagement was to explore possible areas the Embassy in the US could help to push for moral and financial support from partners to help the IGP achieve his vision of transforming the SLP through capacity building of personnel.
It is to be noted, that in all the discussions Ambassador Wai had with the SLP team, the IGP never wavered nor relented but continued to push for overseas training of his personnel; preferably in the US and Canada (areas covered by Ambassador Wai).
Impressed by the IGP’s passion for capacity development through overseas training for personnel, His Excellency pledged to make the right contacts within New York and Canada.
True to his word, Ambassador Wai, who is again in Freetown, took the opportunity to meet with the Inspector General of Police and briefed him on meaningful progress made so far, relative to his request. He eventually broke the good news that the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) had both consented to help the SLP with a range of training packages, to be offered in the USA and Canada respectively.
Pursuant to this, the RCMP had already extended an invitation to the IGP to visit Canada sometime in May of this year, so as to help finalize talks on a structured approach of their proposed interventions to the SLP. The IGP will further proceed to visit New York and replicate the same discussions with the NYPD.
The meeting with Ambassador Wai at the Kona Lodge in Freetown on February 22, 2022, also yielded positive dividends.
His Excellency introduced one Mr. Jerry W. Torres and Dr. Judy Kuriansky to the SLP’s management and informed of their intention to help train the Police in Cyber Security and provision of Psycho-social counselling support to the organization.
Introducing the guests, H.E Ambassador Wai noted that he was committed to supporting the IGP in his drive to transform the SLP; noting that training has to be backed with the required tools in order to achieve effective service delivery.