The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has begun deploying up to 102 police and Protective Service Officers to the Northern Territory (NT) to help protect vulnerable and remote communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
AFP officers will be stationed throughout a number of remote regional communities to support national efforts to protect Australians and limit the spread of COVID-19. Deployed members will work alongside NT Police colleagues, with a key focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19 into remote Indigenous communities.
The AFP’s deployment comes after a request for assistance from NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker APM. NT Police will remain the lead agency in the NT, with AFP providing assistance as required.
The AFP members will assist with enforcement at biosecurity checkpoints throughout the NT and with border control at Darwin and Alice Springs Airports.
The deployment will be phased, with groups arriving for pre-deployment training over the course of this week. The first tranche of deployed members will be split between Tennent Creek and Katherine respectively.
AFP Commander Jamie Strauss, the officer-in-charge of the AFP deployment, thanked AFP members who volunteered to assist with the important community safety operation at short notice.
“The protection of vulnerable and remote communities from COVID-19 is an important undertaking, which the AFP takes very seriously. We are ready to assist our colleagues in the Northern Territory to keep Australians safe and play our part in nationally coordinated fight against this pandemic,” Commander Strauss said.
NT Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Hebb said the Northern Territory Police look forward to working in partnership with the AFP.
“There are a number of activities underway to mitigate the risk of the COVID-19 to the community, these are critical times for all frontline agencies to identify opportunities to protect Territorians, and the partnership with the AFP will further enhance the policing support that we can provide to the Northern Territory,” said Assistant Commissioner Hebb.