Apia, Samoa – Samoa Police’s law enforcement capabilities received a significant boost with the opening of a new police training facility and the launch of the First Responders Handbook made possible with funding support from the Australia Federal Police (AFP) led Samoa Australia Police Partnership (SAPP)
The new training facility will provide the country’s police force with the necessary space and resources to learn and develop their skills for the next two years. The facility, located at Matautu, was officially opened by Honourable Minister of Police, Faualo Harry Schuster, on April 12, 2023, in a ceremony that was attended by special guest Minister of International Development and the Pacific for the Australian Government, Pat Conroy.
During his speech, Minister Conroy reaffirmed the Australian Government’s commitment to collaborating with Samoa in fostering safer, more secure, and prosperous communities throughout the Pacific region.
Minister Conroy recognized the integral role both countries play, as part of the Pacific family, in working together for a peaceful, prosperous and resilient Blue Pacific.
In recognition of the commitment between Samoa and Australia, Prime Ministers Fiame and Albanese signed the Bilateral Partnership Arrangement, ‘O le fala folasia I lo ta va’ in March.
Minister Conroy said “The Arrangement highlights commitments covering climate and disaster resilience, security cooperation, economic growth, human and socio-economic development and people-to-people linkages. Policing cuts across all of these.”
The Honourable Minister Pat Conroy conveyed his congratulations to the new recruits, recognizing their decision to embark on a challenging yet gratifying profession dedicated to safeguarding their community, families, and friends.
The event also marked the launch of the First Responders Handbook which is the first of its kind in Samoa Pacific and offers a comprehensive guide to first response practices and procedures. The Handbook serves as a tool for officers who attend a crime scene, enabling them to secure and control the incident scene for the safety of the public, ensuring evidence is not removed, assessing medical needs, determining facts and circumstances, how to deal with the media as well as gathering and distributing suspect information, among other functions.
Honourable Minister of Police, Faualo Harry Schuster, praised the initiative, noting that the new facility and handbook mark another major important milestone in Samoa’s law enforcement efforts.
“This training facility will provide our officers with space to learn and develop the skills they need to carry out their duties effectively. The First Responders handbook is a valuable resource that will help our officers respond to incidents in a professional and systematic way, ensuring the safety of the public and the preservation of evidence.”
Minister Schuster also expressed his gratitude to the Australia Government for their ongoing support and investment in Samoa’s law enforcement capacity-building efforts.
He added, “The Samoa Australia Police Partnership is a vital partnership that has contributed significantly to the development of our police force over the years. We appreciate the continued support of the Australia Government and the AFP in enhancing the capabilities of our police force and improving the safety and security of our communities.”
The SAPP-funded project’s overall expenditure amounted to SAT $70,000 (AUD$36,000), inclusive of multiple workshops and a consultant’s engagement for a period of three months to advance the project’s developments. Detective Superintendent Daniel Evans, the SAPP Mission Commander, reaffirmed the AFP’s dedication to collaborating with the Samoa Police to enhance their policing capabilities and guarantee the security of Samoa’s communities.
“The AFP through the SAPP initiative remains committed to building the capabilities and capacity of the Samoa Police to ensure effective law enforcement and community safety” said Detective Supt Daniel Evans. “The opening of the Samoa Police training facility is a significant milestone in this ongoing effort. Over the past five years, the AFP has invested over WST $3.5 million in Samoa Police training which includes equipment, training development and delivery.”
“We will also continue to fund training through regional mechanisms such as the Pacific Faculty of Policing, Pacific Police Development Program, Cyber Safety Pasifika and the Pacific Transnational Crime Network. We are proud to support Samoa in developing its police force and look forward to a continued partnership in the years ahead.”
The opening of the Samoa Police training facility is a significant step forward in improving the quality of policing in Samoa. The facility will broaden the scope of training on offer, encompassing a wide range of specialized courses including a Cyber Safety Pasifika training room. In addition it will serve as the venue for the Basic Recruit Course designed to equip the next generation of police officers with the essential skills and knowledge they need to serve their communities effectively.