National's Police spokesperson, Simeon Brown, is welcoming the announcement to deploy unarmed tactical prevention teams in response to firearms violence in the government's funding commitment to improve the safety and capability of frontline staff.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster has today unveiled details of a new Tactical Response Model, following the government's funding commitment to improve the safety and capability of frontline staff.
He says they have listened to the growing safety concerns of staff and the need for more specialist support and have engaged with Māori, Pacific and ethnic community leaders, over armed response teams.
The armed response teams were trialled in Counties Manukau, Waikato and Canterbury last year and were scrapped after a flood of opposition from members of the public who cited a lack of consultation.
Brown says while this is good news for frontline police officers who have been facing increasing firearms violence on the frontline, this support was needed much sooner. He says this reinforces that the armed response teams should never have been abandoned by Labour.
“Armed response teams gave frontline officers rapid support from specially trained units in dangerous situations or where firearms were present. Not having these units available has left frontline officers vulnerable and unsupported," Brown says.