The Samoa Police, Prisons, and Corrections Services (SPPCS) have celebrated another
major milestone in the development of their Remote Piloted Aircraft System
(RPAS) capability, with the first Samoa Qualification Authority (SQA) endorsed
Samoa Police Drone Training, delivered at Fagalii last week.
Commonly known as drones, RPAS provide over-watch and enhance situational
awareness for police operations.
The drone capability and training course has been developed over the past 18 months in partnership with the Australian Federal Police through the Samoa Australia Police Partnership (SAPP).
The project, which has been led by Assistant Chief Executive Officer Angelo Chan Mow, has seen the integration of basic and advanced drones to police operations, which have been a critical eye in the sky for major events.
ACEO Chan Mow said: “We have grown the capability quickly due to the partnership with the AFP.”
“It is not just gifting of the physical drones, but the partnership with AFP Drone
Pilots that has been critical to ensure we continue to develop and implement the latest lessons and techniques deployed by our partners,” she said.
The drone-training course is closely aligned to the AFP Drone Pilot Course, which abides by the stringent Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority guidelines.
Samoa Police have adapted the course to comply with Samoa’s Civil Aviation Act 1998 and Civil Aviation Regulations 2000.
In March 2022, SQA assessed both written and practical training components, which the SQA Board approved in April, recognising that the Samoa Police Drone Training met all criteria and requirements for Recognition of Non Formal
AFP Mission Commander Daniel Evans said he was proud to see how far the capability has come in 18 months and the benefit being experienced.
“The AFP partnership with the Samoa Police is driven on assisting to build sustainable capability that assists Police to maintain a safe and stable Samoa and contributes to regional capability,” said Commander Evans.
“Our work is far more than gifting equipment. We have AFP members in country working with Samoa Police on a daily basis as part of the SAPP and we look to build connection with AFP subject matter experts to ensure development of the capability is ongoing”.
Acting Commissioner Monalisa Tiai-Keti said: “drones are just one example of new technology that the Samoa Police have implemented which are an important part of the modern policing toolkit.”
“While we continue to adapt and enhance our response it is important that we build a sustainable capability with effective governance and SQA endorsed internal training which supports operations long term,” she said.
“Our response to major operations such as the General Election, diplomatic visits, COVID lockdown and the 60th Anniversary of Independence has been enhanced by the drone capability and it will be vital in our preparation for CHOGM 2024.”