President Dr Julius Maada Bio has on Sunday joined the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) in celebrating their first annual thanksgiving service at the St. Paul II Quasi-Parish, Regent Road, Grafton.

In his statement the Inspector General of SLP, Dr Ambrose Sovula, said since the establishment of the force in 1808 that was the first time they were having a thanksgiving service as an institution and that they intended on doing so annually.

He referred to the day as historic, adding that they were blessed to have had the President of the nation join them in their maiden thanksgiving service.

Minister of Internal Affairs, David Maurice Panda-Noah, in a short statement said the presence of the president was a show of support for the SLP and his commitment to supporting human capital development, adding that the President was the first to appoint a female as Deputy Inspector General of Police and the first to increase their budget by 75%.

In his sermon, the clergy Reverend Father Ambrose Michael said they were gathered as people of God to give thanks to God for the many blessings, adding that they should count ourselves lucky to be alive as there were many others who could not see that day because they had been called by God.

He further stated that as Christians, by their baptism, they were made prophets and sent by God to do His work and to admonish all, especially the SLP, to act like the prophets God had sent to be.

He ended by encouraging the congregation to pray at all times.

Addressing the congregation, His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, said he was honoured to be at the thanksgiving service.

He said they should be grateful to God as His grace had kept them to see that day, adding that many did not see and some saw it but with many woes.

He applauded the Inspector General of Sierra Leone police for the initiative of bringing the SLP together for a show of gratitude to God.

He went on to state that a nation cannot function effectively without the police because their service was needed to instill law and order and that the safety of lives and property were in the hands of the police.

He said notwithstanding the challenges they faced, he would encourage them to continue doing their work diligently.