by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV News, Lae
The Lae District Development Authority will be paying community law and order representatives after a National Government approval.
Lae MP, Loujaya Kouza, says they have been long neglected and have worked as volunteers for far too long.
“We need to make our city a safe place and you cannot be a volunteer anymore,” she says.
In every Lae ward, there is a person tasked to handle the committees’ law and order chair.
That task for those in settlements is often a mammoth one when dealing with crime fueled by marijuana and homebrew alcohol.
Two days ago, about fifty of these people received training funded by the Lae DDA and confirmation from Loujaya that they would receive pay as soon as the National Executive Council approves.
Most of these men and women work under immense pressure at their own risk and face law and order problems ranging from rape and murder, to full blown ethnic clashes.
They are often caught between the crossfire of conflicts when carrying out their community role.
When they work with Lae Police to address law and order problems, their own families are often threaten and assaulted, in worse cases their homes burnt, with others being murdered.
“Some of them, their lives have been threaten, even to the extent of death,” said West Taraka Police Station Commander, Cathy Rimbao.