Police sharpen shooting skills
The Ministry of Police has established a shooting team to help sharpen the skills of front line Officers, the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, has said.
“Our shooting team is under the umbrella of the Samoa Shooting Federation and this gives us the opportunity to compete in the competition, held locally, regional and international," the Commissioner said.
"This is just for the members of the Police force.”
The Commissioner explained that as law enforcement work involves firearms it is only fitting for the Police to have its own team.
“It will help the officers with our own training when it comes to tactical training and when we talk about the shooting team; it is a different type of shooting.”
He noted the Police shooting team is not limited to its tactical team.
“It is for anyone who is qualified and, as indicated earlier, competition shooting is a totally different [kind of] shooting. And this has been in the works for a little while and the officers have been training with the Shooting Federation,” said Fuiavaili’ili.
He did not specify how many Officers are undergoing training for the Police Shooting team.
The Commissioner said it was essential that serving Officers know how to operate a 12 gauges and handgun.
“And when we talk about 12 gauge one must have discipline, given this is sport shooting and it is time consuming,” he said.
The Commissioner stressed that the force's work will not in any way be affected from having a shooting team as “work is priority.”
He said having a shooting team is nothing new with the Police: “We already have officers already part of the shooting teams.”
The Commissioner said ammunition would be provided by the Samoa Shooting Federation.
The President of the Samoa Shooting Federation, Papali’i Francis Caffarelli, confirmed the Police Shooting team is registered under their federation.
“And the Police Shooting team is like any other team members we have; they must registered and we don’t just grant membership there are criteria’s that one must meet,” Papali’i said.
He said the Police purchases ammunition from the Federation and there are guns that they can use to practise.
“We are a non-profit organisation and we don’t sell our ammunition on a commercial level, this is just for our members only.”
He explained that to become a member one must register with a $40 per annum per head registration fee and follow a screening process that includes a Police clearance.
A Senior member of the Federation said this is not the first time Police have engaged in a shooting competition.
“They used to have it back in the days when Papalii Lorenese and Lilomaia a Fou were Police Commissioners, however, their membership was not renewed and it was unclear why," the member said.
"But they have rejoined the federation which is a positive move.
There are currently four shotgun clubs under the Samoa Shooting Federation, the Alliance, Le Pe'a, A.C.T. and, now, the Police Team.