Police Commissioner seeks unity as he returns to work

Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil talking to the media shortly after he and the Prime Minister met with senior and commissioned officers as he returned to work this morning.

BY Pa’i Mulitalo Ale

APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 14 MARCH 2017: Reconciliation and unification were the key words today as the Police Commissioner Fuiavailili Egon Keil was welcomed back to his normal duties after his reinstatement was approved by Cabinet last week.

Today’s reconciliation meeting was led by the Prime Minister and Minister of Police, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and attended by all the senior and Commissioned Officers of the Ministry of Police.

The meeting was closed however the Prime Minister and the Commissioner of Police later spoke to the media.

Tuilaepa said the meeting was more in line with a cultural meeting – feiloaiga fa’aleaganu’u pertaining to villages and families coming together to mend differences.

“Forgiveness was the highlight of our meeting this morning,” said Tuilaepa. “They need to forget about the past and return to do their work – to serve the country.”

Asked about the response from the senior officers, Tuilaepa said “The response from the Ministry was great, they shook hands, kissed each other and made up. They were happy,” Prime Minister added.

“I believe in the faith and goodwill built today was hundred percent and nothing will happen again.”

A subdued Commissioner of Police said it was a day of unification.

“I’m very grateful for the Prime Minister to allow his time to come here to speak to the elite and the top management of the Police and to introduce me back as Commissioner of Police,” said Fuiavailili.

“The Prime Minister was giving words of wisdom, some advice and that we all took it as a great thing, it was really nice to have him speak on his perspective, his goals, his mission and it’s something that I take dearly as well.”

Fuiavailili also thanked the Prime Minister and his Cabinet for bringing him back as well as telling the officers that it was a day of unification and the need to move forward.

“Because we have a mission, we got goals and we have a lot of work to do protect and serve Samoa.”

He said the Police have a lot of work to do and it’s time to put differences aside and look at the common goals to better Samoa and he is so very grateful that has happened.

Fuiavailili added that this morning was a bit different to the last time he reported back to work and he is looking forward to continuing his duties and will strive his best to uphold the law and also fulfill his promise, oath and his pledge as the Commissioner of Police.

The Commissioner also commented on the officers in division and against him as they need to move forward.

“This is a unification process, we need to move forward so time will tell but today is a day of peace, it’s making up and unifying the organization,” he said.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, there’s a lot of support and we are all excited to get this thing going and I’m really excited to working with my other partners in government, Attorney General’s officer, Ministry of Justice and Prisons and other ministries to fulfill my duties.”

Appointed in March 2015, the Police Commissioner was first suspended in August 2016 on four charges in relation to a matter involving a member of the public.

Those charges were withdrawn and dismissed in the Supreme Court in November last year and he was reinstated by Cabinet to his normal duties.

However, he was arrested on his first day back at work in November last year on more than 200 charges in relation to inciting to murder and possession of illegal fire arms and all those charges were dismissed in the Supreme Court last month.

Trained and worked as a police officer in the United States, his style and way of doing things created division within the police service as he combats what has been a described a culture within the service.