29 Nov 2013

Arming American Samoan police will open Pandora's Box says critic

2:53 pm on 29 November 2013

A critic of a plan to arm American Samoa police officers is warning the move will only succeed in escalating gun violence and will open Pandora's Box.

The Department of Public Safety has received its first shipment of guns, 24 Glock-17s, which police officers will have access to after extensive training and psychological testing.

The police say the fatal shooting of a police officer outside the High Court in 2010 contributed to the move to arm officers.

But one resident, Dale Long, says arming the police is unnecessary and violence begets violence.

"There is no gun problem here. It's not like Chicago or something where people are running around with machine guns and stuff. There are no guns to speak of here and it's just going to escalate the problem."

Dale Long says although officers will undergo training and psychological testing first, it is of little comfort to him.