June 09, 2020
Armed response team trial fails community test
It’s back to the drawing board for police with new commissioner Andy Coster ruling out the return of the armed response teams.
The armed offender's squad members, packed into large black vehicles, patrolled South Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury in a six-month trial.
Assistant Commissioner Wally Haumaha says the move was taken after feedback from communities and community leaders.
"It's to go back to the drawing board and look at how we keep our staff safe given the number of firearms that have been presented at police in a changing environment and that's what we've got to remember, but also respect that we police with the consent of our public and the consent of our communities, and it's important to listen to the voice of our people," Mr Haumaha says.
During the trial, the teams attended about 8000 events and no shots were fired by police, despite about 200 of the incidents involving firearms.
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