The head of the police Family Support Unit (FSU) in Sierra Leone, Superintendent Mira Koroma [pictured] leaves the shores of Sierra Leone next week for a year-long training programme in the United States.

Supt Mira Koroma

She is the first Sierra Leonean to attend the “Next Generation Leaders Program” at the McCain Institute for International Leadership which takes place under the aegis of the Arizona State University.

Speaking at a farewell meeting with 68 officers of the FSU nationwide, Mira denied rumours that she was leaving the police force.

“Policing is my career and I am definitely returning to it after my studies in September 2017, for a new assignment” she told her unit colleagues who are in charge of sexual offences and domestic violence.

She thanked her supervisor, AIG Elizabeth Turay for her “unflinching support given to me throughout my stewardship at the FSU”.

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Mrs Turay retorted that the force would miss Mira and “her hard work” for the next one year, describing her as a “role model in the service”.

Supt Koroma, who has headed the FSU for three years, was awarded the training scholarship after a rigorous selection process based on her qualification and experience, as well as an essay-writing contest and an online interview with a panel in the United States.

She is among 10 people selected from all over the world who will attend an orientation in Washington DC in September before they are dispersed to different fields of training based on their careers. She will be assigned to the Denver Mayor’s office to study the running of a police organisation, and will later be assigned to the Denver Police Station for firsthand experience on policing in the US, a country that does not have a centralised policing system.

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An outspoken young woman, Supt Mira joined the Sierra Leone Police in 2006 and has served as a UN peacekeeper in Haiti. She holds a first degree in nation-building from Fourah Bay College and a Master’s degree in peace and development studies.

Sierra Leone has a high rate of sexual offences and many have credited her leadership for the spotlight that has been shone of the crime in recent years.