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PAPA Statement On Tactical Response Model

People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA) is concerned about the Police’s announcement of its new Tactical Response Model (TRM).

The TRM would see 200 more officers with Armed Offender Squad training. According to Police Commissioner Andrew Coster, these officers will have “immediate access” to firearms.

“This is a step in the wrong direction,” says PAPA spokesperson Jean Su’a. “If this model ends up with Police responding to more incidents with guns, people will die.”

PAPA is frustrated about the lack of information contained in the announcement today. “The Police have decided to release as little information as possible about the new armed police model. Because of the public backlash to the rollout of the Armed Response Teams last year, the Police are trying to avoid scrutiny,” says Su’a.

“We need to know now if this will end up with more cops on the street with guns. Poor, Māori and Pacific communities know that cops with guns are a threat to our lives.”

“More cops with guns means more dead brown kids.”

PAPA is concerned that the Government is introducing American-style policing by stealth. “American cops have a long and prolific history of murdering vulnerable people with impunity. We don’t want to see the same thing in Aotearoa,” says Su’a.

“You can’t fight fire with fire. Increasing the presence of armed Police will only escalate the climate of violence within our communities, and for the police.”

“We need a more intelligent way to respond to these types of situations than just making it easier for cops to have guns. This is not the way to make our communities safer.”

PAPA is heavily criticising the lack of public consultation on this. “The communities most affected by this have not been properly included in this conversation around safety,” says Su’a.

“The Police have chosen not to release enough information about this for the public to give informed feedback. This is a case of the Police shooting first and asking questions later.”

PAPA is concerned about the increased risk of harm that the rollout of the TRM implies. “We demand that the Police disclose the details of this model so Māori and Pacific communities know how fearful we need to be about armed cops in our neighbourhoods.”

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