27 graduate from latest Police Academy
Government and traditional leaders, cabinet members, along with friends and family members packed the Department of Youth & Women’s Affairs gym on Friday morning to witness the graduation of 27 from the 26th Police Academy.
Chief Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr administered the oath for the police officers, followed by each officer being presented a certificate.
For the sworn police officers of the 25th Police Academy, family members pinned on their police badges. And of the 27 graduates, 24 of them are now sworn in police officers — three of them — represent two other government entities; two from the local Department of Homeland Security (DHLS) and one from the Customs Division of Treasury Department.
Dr. Rev. Fa’afetai Fuimaono delivered both the invocation and benediction. He urged graduates to put their faith in the Lord, so that the Lord would guide their way and give them wisdom to fulfill their job.
“When you face challenges and tribulation on the way, don’t forget to listen to the Holy Spirit as He’s whispering to you. Listen to God, work together with Him and you will get good results at the end,” Rev. Fuimaono said.
Lt. Governor Lemanu P. Mauga delivered the special remarks for the graduating class, on behalf of Governor Lolo M. Moliga who was attending the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) graduation that was also scheduled for last Friday morning.
He said American Samoa is faced with difficulties in a number of areas, especially with drugs and alcohol problems, as well as violence against women. He called on the graduates not to forget the community to protect them at all costs and don’t take “your duty lightly” as a law enforcement officer. He says the most important thing for police officers to remember is “your personal relationship with God” as well as “community relations.”
“Today, you are being chosen to do your job — to serve people and to enforce the law. In the past 10 weeks of this training, you’re being fighting this war in your classroom. So now, you’re police officers chosen to protect the community,” Lemanu said.
Lemanu said that being a police officer comes together with a lot of challenges and difficulties and their duty is to find ways to overcome those problems. He reminded them to remember their culture, and that they needed to learn how to speak to others with different languages such as Tongan, Fijian and also Asian, because there are a lot of different nationalities on our shores at this time, and their duty as police officers is to protect “everyone” who is living in American Samoa.
Lemanu reminded graduates of their important role in law enforcement — to protect “your parents, your village, and your entire community.” The protection of the community “is in your hands,” he emphasized.
“Respect the elders, respect everyone in American Samoa including the young ones. If you encounter people of the community on the road, it is your duty to show them respect, protect them and most of all follow the law whatever happens. The color you’re going to wear symbolizes success and protection,” Lemanu said.
Other than being a law enforcer, Lemanu told graduates that they can also be a teacher for the community; a lawyer; a pastor whenever someone needs spiritual help; a mechanic when someone’s vehicle is stuck on the road, the officer’s duty is to make sure the citizen is receiving the help he/ she deserves from law enforcement. They can also be a parent or a counselor — whatever the community needs.
“Don’t forget to do your best… The community really needs you. Don’t forget, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” Lemanu concluded.
Among the VIPs on the stage with the Lt. governor were former police commissioner, Sen. Tuaolo Manaia Fruean, Vice Speaker, Fetu Fetui Jr; Attorney General, Talauega Eleasalo Ale, former senator Soliai T. Fuimaono, and former deputy commissioner, Leseiau Laumoli, who is the director for CPJA.
Iulio Afoa (DPS); Epitacio Aguimabag (DPS); Ropati Alefosio (DPS); Forrest Ali’ilua (DPS); Sabrina Amosa (DPS); Sosene Faiai (DPS); Iosefa Fanolua (DPS); Leelynn Himphill (DPS) ; Daniel Letuli (DPS); Toia Levao (DPS); Joseph Liu Kuey (DPS); Patricia Murillo (DPS); Faavae Papatu (DPS); Tuluiga Salanoa (DPS); Talitiga Schwenke (DPS); Hana Seafa (DPS); Theresa Setu (DPS); Mose Simi (DPS); Tulutuluitao Taliga (DPS); Marieta Teletolio (DPS); Meaalofa Tiatia (DPS); Imelda Tumanuvao (DPS); Lee Vaouli (DPS); Fiatuina Wilson (DPS); Taotofi Leota (Customs); Ripine Leasiolagi (DHS) and Valerie Fuimaono (DHS).