Australia supports Samoa Police training in Tonga to build security capability in the Pacific

The training aimed to equip participants with essential skills and knowledge vital for more effective protection and security management for high office holders.

The AFP has supported Samoa Police in providing specialised Close Personal Protection (CPP) Training in Tonga, enhancing security capabilities in the Pacific region.

The recent two-week training course emphasised regional cooperation with the assistance of the AFP, through the Pacific Law Enforcement Cooperation Program.

During the closing of the program, Tonga Police Commissioner Shane McLennan remarked on the impact and importance of local initiatives.

“As the Tongan Commissioner of Police and as Chair of the Pacific Island Chiefs of Police, it is a pleasure to see Samoa Police deliver this program. It is truly a great accomplishment. Developed and delivered ‘in the Pacific, for the Pacific, by the Pacific’.”

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Image: Samoa Police training in Tonga (Source: AFP) 

AFP Tonga-Australia Policing Partnership Advisor Sean Campbell congratulated the graduating class of 11 and said the Pacific-led initiative had been a significant success.

“This initiative is testament to the ongoing partnership between Pacific nations, working alongside the AFP to further enhance security capability in the region. I’d like to congratulate the cohort and particularly the participation this year from the first three female officers ever, marking a significant step towards gender inclusivity in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field.”

Detective Sergeant Campbell added:

“Central to the success of the initiative was the recognition of the importance of Pacific nations taking the lead and leveraging regional expertise and resources, Samoa’s police leadership underscored the significance of indigenous solutions tailored to the distinct dynamics of the Pacific region.”

Lead by four members of the Samoa Police Tactical Operations team, the training aimed to equip participants with essential skills and knowledge vital for more effective protection and security management for high office holders.

Image: Samoa Police training in Tonga (Source: AFP) 

The course curriculum, adapted from the AFP’s CPP foundation program, covered an array of topics including threat assessment, defensive tactics, emergency response, and VIP protection protocols and was overseen by AFP CPP trainer Michael Ronan.

The training culminated in a two-day operational deployment, providing security for the New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. This unique opportunity provided invaluable hands-on experience and insights into the complexities of real-world security scenarios.

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