Papua New Guinea's acting police commissioner, Fred Yakasa, has reprimanded a senior commander for issuing a shoot-to-kill order.
The Momase region commmander, Giossi Labi, earlier this week directed police to shoot to kill anyone trying to attack health workers in Lae.
He was reacting to growing concerns in Lae at attacks on health workers, both within hospitals and when they travel to and from work at night.
But Mr Yakasa says Mr Labi's comments are unbecoming of a law enforcement officer.
He says he is making it very clear to his commanders that emotional outbursts will not solve the law and order situation, but that effective, efficient and achievable strategies are needed to fight crime.