Police Commissioner Su’a Fuiavailiili Egon Keil said Savaii Police Operations and Savaii Prisons Operations joined members of the Tactical Operations Squad in Apia.
The simulations are said to have also tested the capacity and speed of the Australian Government donated police patrol boat, the Nafanua II, to test for emergencies that would involve urgent evacuation and movements of persons between the two islands.
“We also had a Royal Australian Navy advisor and an Australian Federal Police advisor, along with Aopo Village representatives, who participated in Savaii simulations”, said Su’a.
The Police Commissioner confirmed that Minister of Police and Prisons, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt had also taken the trip to Savaii and joined them for the first day of the exercise last week.
“We have to ascertain how quickly she can transport members from Upolu to Savaii in case of an emergency”, said Su’a.
Commissioner Keil said their training simulations were further tested by two unfortunate incidents faced by Samoa’s first respondents last week, at the exact time of their simulation exercises.
“Adding to our training, the Nafanua II was dispatched to a live event in Neiafu where unfortunately, lives were lost from drowning;
“The other event was the incident of two people falling off the cliffs of Tiaapapata;
“We managed to remain in contact with our staff at the two incident scenes while we were in the middle of an exercise that day; ensuring appropriate resources were dispatched to both locations, including coordination with FESA”.
The Police Commissioner said the overall purpose of preparedness is, “to provide the best response service possible for Samoa for all situations, if and as the need arises”.