A project to make firearms more readily available to frontline police is a step towards “general arming”, the Police Association says.
The project will see existing stocks of Glock pistols and Bushmaster rifles moved from storage in police stations to response vehicles.
Police Association representative Craig Prior, of Christchurch, said the project was a “step forward”.
“It’s a natural progression to what we would prefer – general arming at some stage in the future,” he said.
Prior said the move would make policing safer.
“It gives a tactical option which most officers don’t have access to. They’re entitled to use firearms and trained and qualified to do so, but now they will have access to them should the need arise, which is a good thing,” he said.
Superintendent John Rivers said the project was not a step towards arming all police.
“It doesn’t involve a substantial purchase of assets and it’s certainly not a step towards general arming,” he said.
While the move to have firearms available in cars is a logical one, I think it would be a very sad day if we ever had the Police generally armed. I also think it would be a sensible idea to increase the amount of firearms training non-AOS officers have, if the probability of them using firearms increases.Tags: Police