Click on title to Link to Wikepedia for more information.
New Zealand Police officers do not normally carry firearms while on patrol, but routinely carry pepper spray and batons. Tasers fitted with cameras were introduced following a decision by Commissioner Broad in August 2008 as an additional non-lethal weapon. However, specialist officers such as dog handlers and emergency response police often have a secure container within their police vehicle containing firearms; usually Glock 17 pistols as well as Bushmaster M4A3 XM15 carbines.   Weapons may be issued to front line staff in an armed response to a serious incident under the supervision of a senior officer. An armed response by police to an incident will often be considered a newsworthy event by the media.
In 1964, the Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) was created to provide a specialist armed response unit, similar to SWAT in the United States.
In addition to the AOS, the New Zealand Police maintain a full-time counter-terrorist unit, the Special Tactics Group (STG). Similar to the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team, the STG train in dynamic entry and other tactics vital in high-risk situations. The STG train with the SAS and are the last line of law enforcement response available before a police Incident Controller calls in support from the Military.
As of May 2009[update], 29 police officers have been killed by criminal acts, and about 17 by accident, while in the performance of their official duties. The last policeman to die was Senior Constable Len Snee, who was murdered by Jan Molenaar in the 2009 Napier Shootings.