Senior PNG police officer calls for mandatory drug tests for all cops

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Police Commander Anthony Wagambie Jr
Commander Anthony Wagambie Jr . . . “We have to be trusted by the community." Image: PNG Post-Courier screenshot APR

By Miriam Zarriga in Port Moresby

A senior Papua New Guinea police officer has called for mandatory drug tests because the National Capital District (NCD) and Central police command has been hard hit by “rogue” trade and consumption of methamphetamine among its ranks.

NCD/Central divisional commander Anthony Wagambie Jr said this while confirming that the dangerous drug known as meth had hit the streets of Port Moresby.

“This is one of my worst fears. The illegal synthetic drug is a very potent and addictive drug which has worrying effects on the well being of the user,” he said.

“I will not hide the fact that certain rogue elements within the constabulary, more specifically and rampant in the NCD/Central command, have been facilitating the trade and also have become consumers.

“The actions by a few rogue elements are tarnishing the [image of the] constabulary and its members.

“We have to be trusted by the community and to do that we have to win back that trust and we need to weed out the drug dealers and users within the constabulary.

“So far arrests have been made on certain individuals by the special investigation team from Police HQ and national drug and vice squad. My office has been supporting this operation by utilising NCD internal investigations unit.

“Our police legal team will have to create a policy around this.

New challenge
This was a new and emerging challenge faced by the constabulary and the country, Commander Wagambie said.

“I have mobilised the majority of members for us to crack down on drug addicted personnel who have become traders. This is very dangerous not only for themselves but for their families, the public and other police personnel.

“I have reached a consensus among my senior officers that we should have a mandatory testing of all personnel.

“I have made this known to our deputy commissioners and Commissioner of Police that we request for mandatory testing to be done.”

Miriam Zarriga is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.

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