Mixed opinions about arming Police officers
The recent violence in Savai’i involving, which led to Salelologa men interfering with the work of the Police, has revived the question about the need to arm the Police Force to deal with such issues. Do you think the Police Force should be armed, to allow them to deal with incidents where their lives are under threat in carrying out their work? Adel Fruean asked in today’s Street Talk and this is what people said:
Peteru Taoipi, 53, Fasito’o
I agree with the Police being armed because they cannot defend themselves especially where violence is involved. Nowadays, overseas influence is so great in our country that it is so easy for some people to hurt others. It is a must, only at the right time and situation to resort to these means in handling specific situations. A concern is that the use of weapons can cause harm so only when their lives are threatened then it is right to protect them and keep the peace.
Tamatoa Toelau Pakeafaiga, 84, Sapunaoa
I strongly support Police officers being armed in times of violent disagreements. I say that in reference to situations that get out of hand and the Village Council cannot peacefully contain it. Only then I believe they should enforce with means necessary to stop the violence. But it all comes down to some of the youths who are no longer living in fear before God that’s why their actions are out of control. Overall, it is to protect the lives of Police officers during such incidents.
Vailima Amosa, 47, Vaiala
I do not support the Police officers being armed when dealing with disputes because our country is founded on God, and because of that there are some teachings in the Bible that can settle such disputes. Another way is through our traditional values, the village councils for example should play an important role in peace making. I strongly believe that it is all for the safety of the public, especially referring to the ones who are not involved but might be caught or shot at accidently in the middle of a shooting between the Police and those who cause the disturbance.
Sera Fela’ia’i, 60, Saleimoa
I am against Police officers being armed. They should be known as peacemakers not the ones who make situations worse. I believe that they should depend on God and have great faith in times of trouble. We are living in a world where the devil tries to destroy everything, so take up all trouble, difficulties and worries in prayer and witness God’s power in working miracles. If you put God first in everything then you will encounter his spirit in all the things we do that leads to peace. That is why our country is founded on God, even if you are about to get shot, your faith in God will save you, so in terms of peace, do not resort to violence because that is not God’s will. We are under great foreign influence, but if we become an example in enforcing peace no matter how small we are in size or number, we can make a difference through counter attacking such violence that is evident overseas.
Taulapapa Taulapapa, 52, Tane, Savai’i
I support the use of certain means by Police officers to enforce peace. In those days, we lived in a peaceful country and it was easy to communicate through our cultural ways. But nowadays, there are some Police officers who have lost lives through violent disputes. Their role is very important in keeping the lives of the public safe from harm, so in terms of defense, they should be armed to defend not only their lives but the people. A caution is that it should only be used during extreme matters or events but not in small disputes. The rate of disagreements or quarrels throughout our country as we are well aware of is increasing that not even the Village Councils can control them.
Asovale Stowers, 65, Satapuala
I don’t support arming Police officers to settle disputes because that it is against the law to use weapons to harm others, so with that being said, they should not use it on our people no matter the situation because at the end of the day we all have the right to live, these are people’s lives at stake when dealing with these matters. It is not right for them to be armed because we are a country founded on God with Christian values, so we should have great patience to promote peace instead of violence like overseas countries. It is also to set a good example when Police officers enforce peace with violent means because only then the people will follow.