26 September 2023

Police take flight for COVID-19 fight

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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have begun the deployment of 102 police and Protective Services Officers to the Northern Territory to help protect vulnerable and remote communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AFP Commander, Jamie Strauss – the officer in charge of the deployment – said officers would be stationed throughout a number of remote regional communities to support national efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“The protection of vulnerable and remote communities from COVID-19 is an important undertaking, which the AFP takes very seriously,” Commander Strauss said.

“We are ready to assist our colleagues in the Northern Territory to keep Australians safe and play our part in nationally coordinated fight against this pandemic.”

He said deployed members would work alongside NT Police with a key focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19 into Indigenous communities.

“The AFP members will assist with enforcement at biosecurity checkpoints throughout the NT and with border control at Darwin and Alice Springs Airports,” Commander Strauss said.

He said the deployment would be phased, with groups arriving for pre-deployment training this week and he first tranche of deployed officers to be split between Tennent Creek and Katherine.

He said the AFP deployment followed a request for assistance from NT Police.

NT Police Assistant Commissioner, Michael Hebb said his officers looked forward to working in partnership with the AFP.

“There are a number of activities underway to mitigate the risk of the COVID-19 to the community, these are critical times for all frontline agencies to identify opportunities to protect Territorians, and the partnership with the AFP will further enhance the policing support that we can provide to the Northern Territory,” Asst Commissioner Hebb said.

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