23 August 2021, Apia Samoa. Samoa’s Police Commissioner Su’a Fuiavailiili Egon Keil has tendered his resignation effective immediately. When contacted, Minister Faualo says he can confirm that Su’a met with him this morning, and confirms the resignation of Samoa’s Commissioner of Police, Prisons and Corrections Services.
Commissioner Keil led a complete reform of the Samoa’s Police department weaving out corruption and a laid back approach to crime since taking over just over 6 years ago.
Appointed in March 2015, Fuiavailiili’s reforms of the police department were not taken lightly by the existing old school regime. They planned Sua’s arrest and in his first year, the Commissioner faced and had to overcome frivilous criminal charges filed against him, led by some of the Assistant Commissioners at the time.
After he was exonerated, Keil then moved through to suspend several officers while others were dismissed as part of a major overhaul of the Samoa Police serive. Most Assistant Commissioners were offered early retirement as part of the clean up.
Commissioner Keil came down hard on the drug ring in Samoa, being the first Commissioner to raid and clean up the well known marijuana plantations of highland Faleatiu and Satapuala, as well as Faleula-Uta.
The police force has seen a marked improvement in new recruits, with SQA accredited courses and vigorous screening processes for incoming officers. The cultural shift of women joining Samoa’s police force and taking up key positions has been evident since Police Commissioner Keil took up the leadership of the Ministry in March 2015. Commissioner Keil has driven equal opportunities for women in the Police service since he has come on board and after the clean-up, he selected Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti to be Samoa’s first woman Deputy Police Commissioner. DC Papalii Monalisa was the only Deputy and right hand woman to Commissioner Keil, until more recent promotions. Several other women now hold Assistant Commissioner levels of management within the Samoa Police and Prison services and last week, two women were awarded top marks of the new recruits.
Commissioner Keil and Deputy Papalii Monalisa Tiai-Keti escorted the Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese and the Samoa Judiciary from the Courthouse to the Maota Fono on the morning of Monday 24th May 2021, amidst the political crisis and impasse of that morning, when Parliament House doors were locked.
When incompetence became evident at the Samoa Prisons and Corrections Services with multiple prison breaks, Commissioner Su’a Fuiavailiili Egon Keil did not complain when handed the added responsibility in 2019 to also look after prisons. Again, Samoa saw Su’a move quickly to immediately remove staff who did not align themselves to reforms starting with then Assistant CEO of Prisons Maiava Viiga Fuimaono.
Commissioner Keil established connections between Samoa’s Police and all regional law enforcement agencies, and is well respected amongst his colleagues in the region.