Interior Ministry Urges Security Firms to Hire Ex-Police Officers

Interior Minister Sar Kheng last week urged private security firms to recruit retired police officers, according to a statement posted to the National Police website on Friday.

Mr. Kheng, who awarded certificates of excellence to several dozen security companies at a ceremony at Tonle Bassac II restaurant in Phnom Penh on Thursday, said that security firms should hire ex-officers in order to “improve their living conditions.”

“The recruitment of forces who have retired needs to be implemented on a voluntary basis in order to improve their living conditions and use their existing experience to continue to provide private security,” Mr. Kheng said in a speech at the event, according to the statement.

The statement also says that deputy National Police chief Chhay Sinarith announced that 94 of the country’s 156 private security companies had signed agreements with the national force.

However, reached by telephone Sunday, General Sinarith denied the existence of such agreements, although he said that the National Police would soon meet with security companies to discuss the prospect of recruitment.

“We do not have agreements with companies related to recruiting police officers,” Gen. Sinarith said.

“Tomorrow, we will ask companies for the answer,” he said. “They need to consider before they respond to our plan and say how many [retired officers] they will take.”

General Sinarith also emphasized that while Mr. Kheng had “urged” companies to recruit retired officers during Thursday’s meeting, this would be done on a strictly voluntary basis.

“Some of them need work,” he said of retired officers. “It will help them to support their families.”

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said the terms of many security firm’s licenses, which are issued by the ministry, already mandated the hiring of retired police.

“It is stated in each company’s conditions that they must recruit retired police,” he said, adding that retired officers played a valuable role at many security firms.

“Some [officers] train them how to line up, hold weapons, protect and arrest.”

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