American Samoa call to arm police

Updated at 7:16 am on 29 January 2013

A lawmaker in American Samoa is calling for the acting police commissioner to consider allowing police officers to carry guns when on duty.

The senator, Saole Mila, made the suggestion during last week's confirmation hearing for William Haleck as police commissioner.

Saole says a few years ago police responded to an emergency call and upon arrival the alleged suspect was walking around with a gun while police officers had nothing with which to defend themselves.

Saole says this is a serious issue that should be considered by the police as well as the government including the Fono.

Laws ban police officers from carrying guns.

They are allowed to be armed when there is an emergency order issued by a governor.

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