30 Nov 2017

Unknown number of American Samoa police now carrying firearms

2:14 pm on 30 November 2017

Questions have been raised in American Samoa over the arming of the territory's police.

Police headquarters in American Samoa.

Police headquarters in American Samoa. Photo: Supplied

The police began carrying firearms three months ago but there are concerns over the amount of training officers have received and whether there's been enough vetting.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago Monica Miller said a selection of officers have received training from a retired officer from the Los Angeles Police Department.

She said there's a lack of information about the number of armed police but she says they're believed to include members of the criminal investigations division, and the vice and narcotics squad.

Monica Miller said information from the Commissioner of Public Safety Le'i Sonny Thompson has not been forthcoming.

"We have tried to get from the commissioner: How many officers? How many guns are there? Where do these guns come from and also who is certified to carry guns? He hasn't given us that information."

Last week American Samoa's governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga expressed support for arming the police.