27 Nov 2013

Plans to arm American Samoa police officers move another step closer

4:18 pm on 27 November 2013

Plans to arm American Samoa police officers have moved another step closer, with the first shipment of guns arriving.

Our correspondent says the Department of Public Safety has received 24 Glock-17s, which only a select group of officers will have access to after they receive training and psychological testing.

The proposal to arm police was largely sparked by the fatal shooting of a police officer outside the High Court in 2010.

Fili Sagapolutele says the community holds mixed views about arming the police.

"For the lawmakers - some of them have asked the police commissioner to move slowly on this issue of arming police officers. Others are in agreement with this issue, all from the fact that from that shooting in 2010 of a police officer."

Fili Sagapolutele says training for police officers to carry guns is not expected to begin until mid-2014.