2016 PICP Chairs’ Award Recipient

Superintendent Tevita Vailea, Tonga Police

Superintendent Tevita Vailea has been a member of Tonga Police since 1992, serving Tonga and the Pacific through capacity development, investigations and forensics.

Superintendent Vailea has played a leading role in the improvement of forensic (fingerprint) capability in the Pacific.  He was accredited as a Specialist in the Science of Fingerprints in 2006 – a qualification that lead to him becoming a member of the PICP Forensic Fingerprint Accreditation Board, the International Association for Identification (IAI), and President of the Pacific Fingerprint Specialist Association (PFSA) in 2011.  His qualifications and experience in the forensics field also sees him having a key advisory role to the Pacific Forensics Working Group (PFWG).

In 2007 Superintendent Vailea successfully completed an International Disaster Victim Identification course in Canberra, after which he was selected by the Australian Federal Police to mentor the delivery of the same course in Port Vila for the Vanuatu Police Force.  He continues to be a mentor in this specialist area for Tonga Police.

In 2012 Superintendent Vailea led the Tonga Police contingent to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).  During his deployment he was stationed at the Henderson police station, Guadalcanal province as the Participating Police Force Advisor to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).  With his solid investigations background he was pivotal in the planning and execution of the arrest of some of the most wanted criminals by the RSIPF.

After assuming the role of Commandant Directorate of Training for Tonga Police in 2014, Superintendent Vailea became an active member of the Pacific Police Training Advisory Group (PPTAG) who provide strategic advice to the PICP on training and capacity development needs in Pacific policing.  Superintendent Vailea’s work in capacity development for both Tonga Police and the wider Pacific is also recognised through his active membership of the International Association of Identification (IAI), the FBI Academy Alumni, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

A recent milestone for Tonga which Superintendent Vailea was instrumental in was the gaining of recognition and accreditation for Tonga Police College’s Diploma in General Policing.  Recognising that a competent training provider is a key component to the sustainability of Tonga Police, his focus is now on gaining accreditation for other training programmes provided by the Tonga Police College.

Superintendent Vailea is a role model through his actions and his influential leadership, evident through his successes and accomplishments in his career to date.  He always demonstrates high integrity and commitment, and is a much valued member for Tonga and Pacific policing.


The PICP would also like to acknowledge and congratulate the other 2016 nominees for their valued contribution and commitment to Pacific policing:

  • Chief Inspector Meleane Taueli (Tonga Police) for her work in professional standards, intelligence-led policing and capacity development.
  • Detective Inspector Areumu Ingaua (Cook Islands Police) for his work in investigations, search and rescue and diplomatic protection.
  • HR Manager Diana Kimi (Cook Islands Police) for her work in actively promoting gender and organisational issues.
  • Inspector Herbert Aati (Samoa Police) for his demonstrated leadership and his proactive approach to analysing transnational crime trends in the Pacific.
  • Inspector Johnny Strickland (Cook Islands Police) for his work in crime prevention, in particular overseeing the delivery of the Cook Islands Police Crime Prevention Strategy.
  • Sergeant Rose Nala (Royal Solomon Islands Police Force) for her strong leadership and advocacy, particularly in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault.