United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste
Issue No 86
20 April 2009
New PNTL Commander and UN Police Commissioner visit Lautem District PNTL office
The new General Commander of the Timor Leste National Police (PNTL), Mr. Longuinhos Monteiro, and the UN Police Commissioner Mr. Luis Carrilho visited police officers in Lautem last Monday (13/04). The visit was part of the ongoing preparations for the resumption of responsibility by the PNTL.
Speaking to the police officers, Police Commissioner Carrilho spoke of the five principles he believes to be integral to policing:
1. the primary mission of every police officer is to serve the people in Timor- Leste regardless of their ethnic or cultural background or their political affiliations;
2. the human rights and dignity of each individual needs to be respected and fully protected;
3. the use of force should be the last resort and the need to use force must be legitimate and proportionate to the situation at hand;
4. self-discipline, respect for police hierarchy and unity among all police officers are integral to creating a professional police force;
5. the police force must not be politicisedwhile each police officer has the right to vote and express their personal opinion during the elections, they must treat all people with impartiality, equality and fairness when carrying out their duty as police officers.
The Lautem District PNTL Office has an Administration Unit which comprises a logistics section, personnel section and sub-district section, and an Operations Unit consisting of the following sections: task force, investigations, community policing, radio communications, traffic police, disciplinary section, and the sub-district sections. During the visit, the Lautém PNTL Commander reported that out of the 149 police officers based in the district, 90% had been certified with 9 police officers still in process. In logistics, he confirmed that the Lautém office has five cars, 16 motorbikes, a radio communication unit and two official telephones.
Regarding the resumption of responsibility, PNTL General Commander Longuinhos Monteiro emphasized that no final decision has been made regarding when the districts would begin to resume responsibility. “The resumption process is in progress,” said the General Commander. I ask that the PNTL and UNPOL continue to have good working relations, respect the Commanders, be unified and coordinate their work well.”
Mr. Monteiro also stressed to PNTL officers that he hoped they would continue learning from the UN Police officers.