Samoa
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Police remember & honour nine late officers

By Talaia Mika

APIA, SAMOA – 30 SEPTEMBER 2022: Four long-serving police officers and five constables and civilian officers who have passed on, were honoured in the Police Remembrance ceremony yesterday.

The Police Remembrance Day is commemorated every 29 of September and families and friends of former officers joined the Police family at the National University of Samoa’s Gymnasium for this year’s ceremony led in prayer by Pastor David Afamasaga.

Prior to the ceremony, the police officers dressed in white paraded towards the Government building for the daily flag raising ceremony to remember the officers who have passed on.

Following a touching candlelight service, representatives from families of each of the five late officers were presented with certificates by the Police Commissioner, Auapaau Logoitino Filipo, to honour the services of their late relatives and contribution to the country and people through the Ministry of Police.

police present
police present

Police Commissioner, Auapaau Logoitino Filipo presenting a Certificate of Recognition to Aina Sefo, the wife of the late Senior Sergeant, Sefo Kelekolio who served for 32 years and 6 months.

On behalf of the government and the country, Deputy Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Police, Tuala Tevaga Ponifasio paid tribute to the late law enforcers saying their services will not go unnoticed.

According to the Commissioner, there are currently over eight hundred police officers enforcing the law across the country including the new recruits for 2022.

However, under the Ministry’s constitutional structure, there should be over one thousand officers enforcing the law.

“That’s why we’re consistently recruiting new officers so after this 60 new recruits, we’ll advertise again for more with the idea that by 2024 where Samoa will be hosting one of the most significant international conferences, we’ll have enough law enforcement officers to assist the hosting of this important event,” Auapaau added.

Police upfront

Police upfront

Auapaau said that most of the officers who have died since the first Police Remembrance Day in 2009 is due to natural causes including the eight officers remembered yesterday.

Three of the nine officers given special recognition in yesterday’s ceremony, died when a Police Dyna truck lost control and crashed at Tiavi in March this year.

The Police Remembrance Day coincides with the country’s recollection of the tragic 2009 Tsunami that claimed over one hundred lives in Samoa.

RECOGNITION OF SERVICE AWARDEES:

  1. Late Superintendent Lapi Filo (Served 33 years and 9 months)
  1. Late Superintendent Enele Tiatia (Served 36 years and 7 months)
  1. Late Senior Sergeant Sefo Kelekolio (Served 32 years and 6 months)
  1. Late Constable Vaafuti Patu (Served 4 years and 2 months)
  1. Late Constable Tivoli Paga (Served 19 years and 3 months)
  1. Late Constable Tavita Vili (Served 3 years and 10 months)
  1. Late Civilian Aneterea Tavita (Served 1 year and 7 months)
  1. Late Civilian Lemo Leaupepe (Served 2 years)
  1. Late Civilian Petelo Iakopo (Served 2 years and 11 months)