6 Mar 2014

Dire need to recruit more police, says American Samoa commissioner

7:45 pm on 6 March 2014

American Samoa's public safety department is planning to train and graduate an extra 20 police officers this year, to try and ease the pressures the small police force is facing from an increased population.

The police commissioner, William Haleck, told lawmakers there is a dire need to recruit more police as there are only 148 officers for a territory of more than 55 thousand.

Mr Haleck says that when the officers graduate, each of the four police substations and the Central station in Pago Pago will get five new officers each.

More than 100 thousand US dollars has been allocated for the police academy this year, with lawmakers urging the government to hire more police officers to help combat a rising crime rate.

Last month Mr Haleck revealed plans for a community policing programme involving civilians.