Po­lice trainer off to US

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By JIM CHIPP

Firearms ex­pert Alan Bros­nan says if peo­ple want to learn about rugby they come to New Zealand. ‘‘If you want to learn about firearms safety, come to the States.’’

Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Claire Bibby of Glenside took him at his word and will spend five weeks in the United States study­ing firearms safety train­ing at her own ex­pense, and on her own time.

Ms Bibby has been of­fered par­tial spon­sor­ship from the Tac­ti­cal En­er­getic En­try Sys­tems of Mem­phis, Ten­nessee, to at­tend cour­ses there and visit po­lice academies in the south­ern states.

How­ever, New Zealand Po­lice de­clined her ap­pli­ca­tion for as­sis­tance with her flight and ac­com­mo­da­tion costs, and to pro­vide some am­mu­ni­tion for the cour­ses.

‘‘It wasn’t ac­cepted so I have de­cided to pay my own way,’’ Ms Bibby said. She will take leave for the visit.

‘‘They didn’t feel that I was the right per­son to send be­cause it wasn’t my cur­rent role.

‘‘That’s okay be­cause I have been af­fected by re­struc­tur­ing and it fits well with my per­sonal de­vel­op­ment plan, so I am happy to pay my own way.’’ she said.

‘‘This was far too good an op­por­tu­nity to turn down. It’s the cul­mi­na­tion of all my prior work at the train­ing cen­tre.’’

Ms Bibby has been in the po­lice for 25 years and, as well as front-line work has car­ried out re­search and train­ing course de­sign, and re­cently headed cen­tral re­gion train­ing, based at the Porirua Po­lice Col­lege.

Her team of 28 in­cluded 12 firearms in­struc­tors who also teach the use of tasers, pep­per spray and de­fen­sive tac­tics.

Mr Bros­nan, who is pres­i­dent of Tac­ti­cal En­er­getic En­try Sys­tems, in­vited her to visit the US and con­trib­uted $10,000 to­wards her costs.

He served in the New Zealand Spe­cial Air Ser­vice be­fore go­ing into firearms train­ing and se­cu­rity work in the US.

Mr Bros­nan co-authored Sol­dier­ing On, about life af­ter SAS and has taught the New Zealand Armed Of­fend­ers Squad and Spe­cial Tac­ti­cal Group, and also helped with the in­tro­duc­tion of the Bush­mas­ter ri­fle.

‘‘What I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to is that he [ Mr Bros­nan] has ar­ranged for me to meet the staff at po­lice train­ing academies,’’ Ms Bibby said.

As well as Ten­nessee, Ms Bibby will visit po­lice academies in Texas, Mis­sis­sippi and Arkansas and at­tend a Spe­cial Weapons and Tac­tics Team ( SWAT) con­fer­ence.

‘‘I’m par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in how they keep their staff pro­fes­sion­ally de­vel­oped,’’ Ms Bibby said.

‘‘How is he keep­ing his own train­ers and in­struc­tors up with the play?’’

Many of Mr Bros­nan’s meth­ods were based on ev­i­den­tial re­search into the whole area of firearms train­ing, she said. ‘‘[This is] par­tic­u­larly around the phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal im­pact on of­fi­cers of con­fronting armed of­fend­ers.’’

Dur­ing the Christ­mas pe­riod Ms Bibby re­turned to front-line po­lice work in Lower Hutt and Porirua for a cou­ple of weeks.

‘‘ I kept a record of the in­ci­dents where there was men­tion of firearms. I was quite sur­prised by the fre­quency.

‘‘ Both of those sta­tions kit­ted up [to deal with armed of­fend­ers] while I was there.’’

Ms Bibby grew up in a ru­ral area around firearms.

‘‘I’m com­fort­able with that world,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s dif­fer­ent now, a lot of re­cruits come in and they have never picked up a firearm be­fore.’’

Gun law: Se­nior Sergeant Claire Bibby will spend her an­nual leave study­ing po­lice firearms train­ing meth­ods in the United States.

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