Criminal Justice Expert Warns Private Security Officers Against Impersonation


Gbarnga – Several officers of the Security Expert Guard Agency of Liberia (SEGAL) have been cautioned to avoid presenting themselves as state security.

Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]

Marc Kollie, coordinator of Criminal Justice at Zion University, says it is unimaginable and criminal for private security officers “Misrepresenting yourselves as police officers.

He spoke at the 12th anniversary of SEGAL in Bong County, where officers and managerial staff of the firm gathered to brainstorm ideas and way forward in making the firm effective.

Kollie said officers should ensure safety and protection of assets, people or property and should also ensure human security and protect human rights.

He also called for collaborations between private security firms and state security in protecting access to justice and improving the economic condition in the country.

Kollie added that stability of the state depends on private security firms which outnumber police numerical strength in many countries of the world.

Referencing Forbes 2017 report he noted that there are 20 million private security officers worldwide with the worth of industry standing at US$180 million.

In the USA, Forbes put the total number of private security at 1.1 million and 666,000 police officers, while it records China at 5 million private security officers and 2.7 million police officers.

Also in India, there are 7 million private security officers and 1.4 million police officers, according to Forbes 2017 report.

For Liberia, Kollie cited the Beomcken 2012 report which put 87 private security companies (approx. 7,000 private security officers) 2,000 soldiers and 4,000 police officers.

Kollie urged SEGAL management to attend to the welfare of its officers and conduct due diligence and integrity check of clients before deployment.

He also told them to discuss findings with officers to be assigned and threat and vulnerability assessments which include the scope of business of the client.

“Be open, transparent and accountable; Stress confidentiality and need to know.”

He continued: “Train and re-train to adjust to realities or current event and recruitment and selection should include a written test, psychological test, background checks, interviews, and fitness for duty.”

Kollie furthered told the firm’s management that reward and sanction should be fair through constructive efforts.

“If the reward system is unfair, employees may act unfairly to make up for rewards that they believe they deserve. Involve employees in the reward-setting process,” he said.

Meanwhile, the chief executive officer Cyrus Momo expressed concerns over the dwindling accounts of the company due to UNMIL drawdown and closure of some non-governmental organizations in the country.

He assured that his firm will remain professional in its discharge of duties, adding, “We recognize the vital impact a professional level of service coupled with strong communications skills, has on a company’s reputation.