Cops to stick to their guns

2012-04-26 22:12
Pretoria - The disarming of police officers declared incompetent to handle firearms has been halted, police management said on Thursday.

Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said officers who had already been disarmed would get their weapons back.

"The status quo will prevail until a proper plan and guideline implementation is communicated to all provinces and divisions."

The SA Police Service decided to disarm 27 000 members found to be unfit to handle firearms. The move was opposed by the SA Police Union.

It successfully interdicted SAPS from disarming officers, but some had already had their guns taken away.

Mkhwanazi said, citing the department's figures, that a total of 129 713 members had undergone proficiency training. Out of that figure 27 400 officers were not competent.

"However out of this 27 400, 20 864 did not fail, but have just not completed their training. They would have either completed legal principles only, or use of firearms only."

A member needed to complete both the legal theory and training in the use of firearms to be declared fully competent. He said the 6 536 officers who had failed the test would undergo remedial training and be re-assessed.

"The unit standard requires members to be competent in three firearms, handgun, shotgun, and assault rifle. Within those members that were declared not yet competent some of them are competent in one, but not all firearms," Mkhwanazi said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  nhlanhla mkhwanazi
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