The police force's controversial new training program

by John Hilton18 Nov 2015
In a change of policy, NSW police are being trained to shoot extremists on sight, as opposed to attempting to contain and negotiate with them.

The new approach is justified on the grounds that we are dealing with people with a preconceived goal of dying, and who are willing to kill as many people as possible, said the acting NSW police commissioner Nick Kaldas.

He also cited the recent terror attacks in France as an example of how they are dealing with people who don’t want to negotiate with authorities.

However, he emphasised that the “shoot on sight” order would not be implemented in all situations when dealing with armed offenders. For instance, the contain and negotiate approach is still necessary for dealing with armed robbers and domestic violence situations where the person comitting the offence does not wish to die. 

The NSW police recently launched an armed offender training program based on tactics used by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. The officers were trained in Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training in addition to rapid response training by the Texas State University.

However, the courses have been amended so they are not a direct replica of those offered in the US, according to Kaldas.

He added that there had been a great deal of thought put into the program and that it had been “tweaked to suit the local environment, local legislation and frankly community expectations in Sydney,” said Kaldas.

“For some time, NSW police has been preparing a training program and implementing a training program in relation to preparing our frontline general duties first response police to deal better with active armed offenders in a dynamic environment, such as we have seen lately certainly in Paris but also previous to that in Mumbai and other places, particularly in the middle east.”