Police Commissioner Gari Baki revealed that the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is currently engaged in discussions with Laurence Aviation & Security Group.
He made this comment following speculations made on an internet blog site over the engagement of the Americans.
Laurence Aviation & Security Group is an American based company that offers high-end security solutions to its customers globally, including the United States Government. It is staffed by former American military and police personnel.
“I was approached by the president of the company, Mr Peter Halliman, around July last year. He was offering his company’s services to the RPNGC,” clarified Baki.
“Mr Halliman is an American citizen but he was born in Bulolo in 1961 and grew up in the Lake Kopiago/Koroba area of the Hela Province. His parents were Baptist missionaries.
“As the Commissioner of Police and Commander of the APEC 2018 Joint Task Force, I have been concerned at our response capability should we be faced with serious security threats such as a hostage situation for instance.
“I invited Laurence Aviation & Security Group to come to PNG in February this year to do a presentation for the senior police hierarchy on what they can offer to the RPNGC in terms of training.”
Baki said other government departments were invited to attend the presentation, including the PNG Defence Force, the Correctional Services and PNG Customs.
“As a matter of formality, I wrote to the United States Embassy informing the embassy of the RPNGC’s intentions,” stated the Commissioner.
“Following the presentation, I decided that the company had the necessary credentials, skills, experience and expertise to train an elite rapid response team for PNG, which I intend to set up especially for APEC 2018.”
He said the team will consist of 120 men who will be recruited from the units within the RPNGC and sister agencies including:
- 30 from the RPNGC’s Air Tactical Unit;
- 30 selected from the Mobile Squads throughout PNG;
- 30 members of the NCD Task Force; and
- 30 composite team comprising of five from the Police College, five from PNG Customs, ten from the PNG Correctional Service and 10 from the PNG Defence Force
Laurence Aviation & Security Group has proposed a five-month (140 days) training for the elite rapid response team. A team of 15 instructors from Laurence Aviation & Security Group are expected in the country for the training program, once the engagement is confirmed.
“I believe LASG can and will help the RPNGC improve its policing services during and beyond APEC 2018. We need this intervention and we need it now,” Commissioner Baki said.
(Loop file pic)