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Police Commissioner responds to commentary

Police Commissioner responds to commentary following Police shooting, Kurow

Please attribute to Police Commissioner Mike Bush:

I am aware of commentary in some areas surrounding this tragic incident, and the Police response.

Let me say first, my heart goes out to everyone involved in this tragedy.

I won’t be commenting further on this specific event which is now subject to a number of investigations, including a Critical Incident Investigation and an IPCA investigation.

Our staff come to work every day to keep our communities safe, and they do a fantastic job.

A fatal shooting by Police is an outcome no officer wants.

To use a firearm is not a decision that any officer takes lightly – it is likely the biggest decision they will make in their police careers and the consequences stay with them for the rest of their lives.

It is a reality that sometimes events occur where the safety of staff and the public is put at immediate risk.

Police officers have a unique authority and responsibility that no other New Zealander has to shoulder.

They are highly trained, not just in tactical options, but in de-escalation and effective decision making.

Police have thousands of interactions with the public every day, where they are called upon to use their communication and decision making skills.

The vast majority of these are resolved safely.

However, in a very small number of cases officers are forced to take action to protect the public and themselves.

Our ultimate responsibility as Police officers is to keep the community safe – and that includes ourselves.

ENDS

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