For the first time since the program’s inception, the New South Wales Police Force has allowed access into its Active Armed Offender training facilities to demonstrate its improved capability to deal with violent extremists, NSW Police say.
In 2015, the Police Force adopted FBI-style training techniques to combat active armed incidents.
All sworn officers within the Force are required to undergo the training, which is held at a number of undisclosed police locations throughout the state.
Commander of the Investigations and Counter Terrorism Command, Deputy Commissioner David Hudson said already half of NSW’s 16,000 police officers have progressed through the state-of-the-art program since its adoption in November 2015.
“The Active Armed Offender program is training first responding police in a range of tactics to eliminate armed offenders who are actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people,” Deputy Commissioner Hudson said.
“The aim of the program in NSW is to give our police the training and tactical skills to protect the community and police in environments where contain and negotiate tactics aren’t appropriate.
“We will continually review the Active Armed Offender Training Program to ensure the best outcomes for police, and the general community,” Deputy Commissioner Hudson said.
NSW Minister for Police, Troy Grant, said today gives the public an indication of the very confronting and serious nature of the scenarios our officers will now be trained to respond to.
“This program is based on world’s best practice, bringing the NSW Police Force’s operational capacity up to speed with lead combat agencies around the globe,” Police Minister Grant said.
Around 100,000 United States law enforcement officers have undergone the same training.
The Active Armed Offender model was developed by the Texas State University whose experts evaluated the NSW Police Force capability as outstanding.
The four-day program is in addition to mandatory firearms and defensive tactics training carried out by NSW officers every year.
“Incidents such as that by Anders Breivik in Norway and the attacks at the Bataclan theatre in Paris, have shown us that armed terrorists, can strike anywhere at any time,” Deputy Commissioner Hudson added.
“Australia and NSW have not been immune to active shooter-type incidents. The 1991 Strathfield massacre in which seven people were killed, and Port Arthur in 1996 where 35 people were shot dead, are tragic examples of why our police need to be highly trained.”
“The program has been designed specifically to equip officers with the additional skills, training and resources they need when first on the scene at a terrorism or high-risk incident.”
“Whilst I can’t go into the exact methodology, it’s fair to say this type of training is more dynamic and fluid than regular Police firearms training,” Deputy Commissioner Hudson said.
NSW Police Force weapons instructors are very highly skilled in active armed offender techniques and are ensuring that knowledge is being effectively passed onto their colleagues in the field.
The NSW Police Force Active Armed Offender training package is conducted over four days. The first three days are conducted at an approved AAO training facility.
The training involves different scenarios and focus on how the participating officers deal with their changing and challenging environments.
The final day consisting of a live-fire shoot at a range which consolidates the three days training in a dynamic live-fire practice.