Samoa Police And AFP Mark Milestone Anniversary

The AFP has committed more than $6.5 million to national security upgrades in Samoa as it celebrates 15 years of working in the Pacific nation with the Samoa Police, Prisons and Corrections Services (SPPCS) under the Samoa Australia Police Partnership (SAPP).

The partnership has grown continuously in the past 15 years, with the SAPP delivering training programs, providing a broad range of equipment and sharing knowledge.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Nigel Ryan APM and AFP Acting Commander Elias Petropoulos travelled to Samoa to sign new agreements with Samoa Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo as they marked the partnership milestone on 29 April, 2024.

Samoan authorities highlighted multiple new policing capabilities, including a new Cyber Safety Pasifika Laboratory which was supported by the AFP.

An additional $6.5 million will help fund a new emergency radio network, an augmented Police Operations Centre and the rollout of the Safer City CCTV Network designed to increase community safety.

The upgrades and equipment will assist with the safe and secure delivery of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will be hosted in Samoa in October, 2024.

As part of the 15-year anniversary, the AFP and SPPCS reaffirmed their mutual commitment to the partnership by signing a Training Support Agreement, to roll out improved training capabilities and assist with the transition to a new police academy in Samoa.

The new agreement builds on existing support provided by the AFP to Samoa Police, which has resulted in more than 5000 training positions on more than 430 courses and conferences spanning the past 15 years.

Other key events during the visit were demonstrations and the official openings of AFP-funded facilities, including the:

    • Samoa Police Operations Centre, which will provide strong support to CHOGM;
    • Samoa Police Cyber Safety Pacifika Computer Lab;
    • Digital Forensics Laboratory, followed by a tour of the AFP-funded forensics area;
    • Renovation to the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre; and
    • Showcasing the Breath Analysis Calibration equipment at the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS). This is a first for Samoa and ensures self-sustainment of breath testing capability.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Ryan said the AFP and Samoa Police had learned from each other during the time spent working together in the past 15 years, enabling each agency to better respond to emerging threats that impacted the region and their shared communities.

"We are honoured to have been welcomed by the Samoan community and the AFP members based here have embraced the Samoan way of life, which they will have with them forever," AC Ryan said.

The AFP has three members based in Samoa, where they work with Samoa Police to support a safe and stable Samoa and the security of the blue pacific.

Samoan Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo expressed gratitude to the AFP and the new agreement, saying: "this Training Support Agreement signifies a renewed commitment to our partnership with the AFP and highlights the importance of continuous training in maintaining the highest standards of law enforcement in Samoa".

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