28 Jan 2015

American Samoa Senate leader against guns for police

1:42 pm on 28 January 2015

The President of the American Samoa Senate says he is not supportive of a move to arm police officers.

The police union says frontline officers are concerned about lack of gun training.

American Samoa considers arming police Photo: 123RF

The Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, recently told lawmakers he has approved officers having guns, so they can protect themselves and the lives and property of civilians.

But the Senate President, Gaoteote Tofau, says arming officers is not the answer to law and order issues, even taking into account the shootings late last year targeting police.

During a Senate committee hearing, the acting police commissioner, Save Liuato Tuitele, also said arming police won't address the problems of shootings and drugs.

The former police commissioner, William Haleck, who resigned early this month, has been working on the new policy.

The Governor says police will have to be trained adequately and pass a psychological test to determine emotional intelligence.