The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) have on Tuesday March 28, 2023, concluded a two-day joint training at the Sierra Leone Police Wives Vocational Training Center at Kingtom, in Freetown.
During the ceremony to mark the end of the joint training, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. William Fayia Sellu who initiated the training, in his keynote address expressed his determination to enhance good working relationship with the fourth estate and to ensure that the SLP becomes a free marketplace for information sourcing, for not only journalists but the public at large. The IGP urged all participants to utilize the knowledge gained from the training for the betterment of our nation, Sierra Leone. While concluding, he noted that this training is not only meant for the conduct of the forth-coming multi-tier elections, but for a continual and a conducive working relationship between both institutions.
It could be recalled that the IGP initiated this training in a press conference he chaired several months prior to his appointment as leader of the SLP. He made the training proposal at a time he was the Director of Crime Services of the SLP, with an initial intention to single-handedly sponsor the training out of his personal resources – an indication of his resolve to have a level playing ground for both Police and Journalists.
The training participants (Police Officers and Journalists) were equipped with several Police/Journalists related modules such as: the handling of fake news, misinformation or disinformation; excerpts of the Police Act, 1964; the hierarchical structure of SLP; the system of information dissemination in the SLP and sourcing of news from Police jurisdictions; discussion on SLP/SLAJ MoU; exempt clauses of the Right to Access Information Act, 2013; Media Code of Practice; and several other training related modules.
Other important speakers during the closing ceremony included: the President of SLAJ, Mr. Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, the Chairman and Information Commissioner of the Right to Access Information Commission, Dr. Ibrahim Seaga shaw, who applauded the training initiative and schooled participants on issues surrounding freedom of information and the right to access information.
The ceremony was climaxed with the awarding of certificates to all participants and an interactive session between press men and Police Officers.