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Waitematā Police: Tactical Response Model - seeking your feedback

October 08, 2021 at 4:54 PM

Click here to download the accompanying presentation

Over the last week you will have seen in the news, the new Tactical Response Model launched by our Police Commissioner Andrew Coster. As close partners of New Zealand Police, we are seeking your feedback as we want to make sure this model works in and for our communities. We cannot succeed in our vision to make New Zealand the safest country unless we are doing everything we can to keep our staff and our communities safe, whilst ensuring we do that in a style of policing that New Zealanders expect and deserve. 

Our frontline officers operate in a dynamic and unpredictable environment and are often called to put themselves in harm’s way to keep the public safe. Increasingly, they face threats from those willing to use violence against police, and others. 

In recent years we have responded to terror attacks, the increasingly sophisticated nature of organised crime, gang-violence, the availability of illegal firearms, and devastatingly – the death of our own Constable Matthew Hunt, who was murdered during a routine traffic incident. 

Over the past year, there has been a great deal of work undertaken by Police’s Frontline Safety Improvement Programme that listened to more than 1250 staff around their concerns and ideas to improve staff safety. We have engaged with Maori, Pacific and Ethnic community leaders, and taken on board feedback from those who shared their thoughts on Armed Response Teams. 

This engagement has informed the development of a new tactical response model. This model is designed around enhancing frontline training; improving frontline access to specialist capability, and strengthening risk-based deployment and technology. Now, Police has created a new tactical response model. This model is designed around enhancing frontline training; improving frontline access to specialist capability, and strengthening risk-based deployment and technology. 

The model has three key components: 

Firstly, training. We are doubling our annual tactical training for frontline staff, starting with our Public Safety Teams and Road Policing. This additional training will be modelled on the Frontline Skills Enhancement Course and will provide four days of scenario-based training focusing on appropriate tactical response and de-escalation. 

Our staff told us they felt safer when they had specialist staff on duty who they could call on for assistance to help resolve critical situations safely. So, secondly, we are increasing the number of staff with Advanced Tactical Training (meaning Armed Offender Squad qualified) to roster them on-shift across two areas: 

  • As new positions to enable dog units to operate as a two-person dog team. This will increase the day-to-day safety of handlers who often respond to high-risk incidents alone. As a team they can provide additional specialist tactical support for frontline staff in responding to critical events. 

  • As members of Tactical Prevention Teams, which will be part of existing investigative units that are primarily focused on planned operations to apprehend priority and high-risk offenders and combat organised crime. These specialist teams will also be available to support frontline staff if called on to urgently respond to high-risk incidents. 

These staff will wear standard police uniforms and drive standard police vehicles. They will not be generally armed but will have immediate access to tactical options including firearms if the situation requires it. 

Finally, to support our deployment model we will boost our intelligence capability, so we can deploy staff more safely with increased awareness of the environment and identified threats and priority offenders. 

This will enhance the safety of our staff, ensuring they have access to the best information available to support decision making and risk assessments. 

This is not a change to our arming policy. We remain committed to being a generally unarmed Police service. 

We understand that policing by consent carries significant responsibilities, and that our communities must have trust and confidence in the way we deliver our services. 

For a member of the public, this won’t look any different. That’s important to us because we want to remain approachable and connected to our communities as part of our everyday policing. But for our frontline staff, and our communities, this will provide benefits to safety. It will enhance our capability to prevent, respond, and resolve critical incidents. 

Police will be engaging with staff, iwi, and the wider community over the coming weeks to gain feedback and make any refinements to ensure the success of this model in practice. 

We welcome the public’s feedback as we want to make sure this works in our communities and that people understand what we are doing to keep them and their communities safe. 

You can send feedback to 

Following this four-week engagement period, Police plans to pilot the model in certain districts over the coming months ahead of a national rollout next year. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

Kind regards 



Inspector Kelly Farrant 

Director: Whangāia Ngā  Harakeke 

Waitematā Police District Headquarters 

Category: Police