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Police Week 2018 honors those in law enforcement

Lt. Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga addressing DPS officers and personnel at the Fagatogo Malae yesterday morning during the official opening of Police Week in American Samoa.  [photo: AF]DPS police officers during a parade yesterday morning at Malaeoletalu in Fagatogo, following an inspection by Lt. Governor Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga and DPS Commissioner Le'i Sonny Thompson, as part of Police Week 2018 celebrations. Today and tomorrow, informational booths will be set up at the Fagatogo Malae and Family Day is set for Friday at Suigaula ole Atavasa Beach Park in Fagaalu. Celebrations conclude this Saturday with the formal Police Ball set to be held at the Governor H. Rex Lee Auditorium.
Activities kick off today with booths set up in Fagatogo

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Department of Public Safety personnel, including cops and the Fire Bureau, took part in a parade yesterday morning at the Fagatogo Malae, to mark the beginning of this year's Police Week activities.

Lt. Gov. Lemanu Palepoi Peleti Mauga was present and delivered briefs remarks, during which he thanked the DPS staff for their outstanding service to the people of American Samoa.

Lemanu stepped out from behind the podium in the Pavilion and headed to the malae where police officers, fire bureau personnel and DPS civilians were standing, and he asked them to come closer to him, so they could hear his voice.

Everyone did as they were told and within seconds, Lemanu was surrounded.

“Your service is so important to us,” Lemanu told the gathering. He said it’s good for a leader to come close, and be face to face with people.

He reminded police officers that their duty is to protect the safety of the community.

“Police officers are responsible for protecting the safety and welfare of the community. And that responsibility should ensure that the public and the overall community places their trust in police officers,” Lemanu said.

He called on the community to not only stand together with police officers in support of police work, but also to take time out to thank police officers - the men and women in uniform - for their hard work.

He called on police officers to do their work with love and honesty, and make sure respect is always shown towards the public. He said American Samoa joins the United States and its territories in honoring the hard working men and women in police forces across the country.

“The job you are faced with today is the protection of the freedom of the community and to ensure they are safe,” Lemanu said, adding that whatever people say about them, they must continue to serve with respect and love.

“Do your work with love and respect. Your families are behind you supporting you everyday. You have to love your family. The government and the community are also supporting you wherever you serve”.

Last week, US President Donald J. Trump proclaimed May 15th as Peace Officers Day, honoring the men and women who died last year in the line of duty.

He declared May 13-19 as Police Week in states and territories. “The work of law enforcement officers is essential to preserving peace in our communities and to ensuring the safety of precious lives and personal property."

Trump said this is also an opportunity to pay tribute to law enforcement personnel who were killed or disabled in the line of duty last year.

“We will never forget their courage,” the President wrote.

In American Samoa, there were no police officer fatalities last year.

Activities for Police Week in the territory include informational booths at the Malaeoletalu today and tomorrow. The booths will showcase the different DPS divisions and the work they are involved with, such as Fire Bureau, Police Service, and Traffic.

On Friday, at the Su’igaula o le Atuvasa Beach Park at Utulei there is a “Family Day” planned and then Saturday at 6p.m. is the Police Ball. The venue is yet to be confirmed.

Several police officers that spoke to Samoa News about their special week, said they are very humbled to be acknowledged for their services to the community.

A retired cop told Samoa News that despite a lot of things that have been going on at DPS, he still wants to thank all the men and women in uniform for the hard work they do in the community, day and night.