The former president of the NZ Police Association now claims that he didn’t favour the general arming of all Police. Despite calling for it repeatedly since 2010. The motion supporting the general arming of all sworn officers was endorsed at the association’s annual conference that year.
In a statement after the vote O’Connor said “We believe changes in the criminality facing police today mean general arming has now become inevitable”.
In a report on the association’s conference in October of 2014 O’Connor said “I believe the time has come to arm every frontline officer”.
In a column O’Connor wrote for NZME in that same month, he said, “It is time to overcome our squeamishness and arm police.”
So why the sea change in his position?
Now he has left the association to run as a candidate for the Labor Party.
His new position as explained to media: ‘There had been a realisation that if firearms were taken off the street, then it wouldn’t be necessary to routinely arm police’.
Since the 2010 association’s call for general arming – police cars now carry guns and frontline staff carry Tasers. That they have accidentally discharged over five hundred times.
So his old position was: “Armed incidents unfold without warning. A weapon locked in a vehicle when needed is no use to anyone”.
His new position is: ‘Whatever Labor tell him that they want’.
Guess those cops who paid him to represent them for all those years are forgotten now.
O’Connor has been selected as Labour’s 2017 candidate for Ohariu. Vote accordingly.
“Anything is possible but there’s got to be a political will to do it,” O’Connor said.