Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti Reappointed Deputy Police Commissioner for a further 3 Years

Papalii is the first woman to attain an Executive Position in the Samoa Police force and has served the Samoa Police for 20 years..


Govt. Press Secretariat. In its meeting this week Cabinet has endorsed the re-appointment of Papāli’i Monalisa Tia’i – Keti to continue as Deputy Commissioner of Police for the next three years.

Papāli’i has served with the Ministry of Police, Prisons and Correction Services for 20 years since 2004 and she has held the position of Deputy Police Commissioner since her initial appointment in 2018.

Her experience in the field and years of service combined with her academic qualifications prove pivotal to the success of her reinstatement in her contribution to the role and to the development of the Ministry.

Papalii is a qualified lawyer and Barrister. She holds a Bachelor of Law & Professional Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of the South Pacific and a Masters in Transnational Crime Unit from the University of Wollongong in Australia.

She also holds a Certificate of Completion of the Executive Leadership Program from the Australian Federal Police, Certificate IV Training and Assessment from the Canberra Institute of Technology in Australia, and a Certificate IV in Frontline Management from the Australia Maritime College.

Her first degree was a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

Papalii is a trail blazer for women in the Samoa Police force. In 2023, Papalii was celebrated as one of Samoa Global News’ 2023 People of the Year, for being a pioneer of Samoa’s Law Enforcement.

She is also a true leader in keeping the public informed through transparent and timely engagements with the media.

As Deputy Police Commissioner, Papalii is never a phone call or a text message away to confirm vital information on cases for public awareness, or to discard misleading reports, which is becoming more common in today’s social media setting.

Papalii is the first woman to attain an Executive Position in the Samoa Police force. During reforms under Police Commissioner Su’a Egon Keil, Papalii Monalisa was appointed the sole Deputy Commissioner. She held this position on her own before more recent appointments of Deputies and Assistant Commissioners in today’s SPPCS structure.

In that time, Papalii led major operations for the Samoa Police. During Samoa’s hosting of SIDS, Papalii led as Commander over a team of over 100 Officers including police from New Zealand. During Samoa’s Constitutional crisis, Papalii Monalisa often led as Acting Commissioner, upholding the rule of law amidst the uncertainties of the national political and constitutional crisis that faced Samoa.

Behind the scenes, Papalii has led many institutional reforms within the Samoa Police including the important review of Training Curriculums that has ensured quality controls and proper processes are followed for internal promotions. Today, there is a vigorous screening process and higher recruitment standards imposed by the Samoa Police Service.

Papalii has always advocated for women to join the Samoa Police and today, women graduating as police recruits has become a new norm for Samoa. Papalii Monalisa has proven that advocating for gender equality is best achieved by doing. By entering male dominated spaces, and then apply hard work to participate as an effective, respected member of the team.

Papalii is a Trailblazer for women in the Samoa Police service.

Giving a speech during an International Women’s Day event, Papalii Monalisa advocated for wisdom to discern boundaries when leading change.

“Have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you are going too far.”

Papalii’s respect within the region is well established as evident when she became the first Pasefika member of the Australasian Council of Women and Policing (ACWAP) to win the prestigious Audrey Fagan Memorial Award.