Officers now trained to shoot first in some hostage cases
A new "armed offenders" building will be used to train NSW Police recruits, who will now be taught to shoot first in some critical stand-offs rather than "contain and negotiate".
The new training regimen - adopted from America's FBI - follows a major shake-up of how police deal with armed and dangerous offenders following the devastating 2014 Lindt Cafe siege, and an internal police review.
The new $8 million building at the Goulburn Police Academy can stage any armed-offender scenario - from a supermarket siege to terrorism or a suburban domestic violence incident.
Using simulated ammunition - like a paintball - every new recruit and some senior officers will be pitted against "armed offenders".
CCTV covering the building and a viewing gantry will be used to critique the student's performance.
"It could be someone with a knife in a room, it could well be a domestic violence scenario … it can replicate a room in a residential house, a shopping centre, or a shop," NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Malcolm Lanyon said.
Mr Lanyon said a contain-and-negotiate approach was "sound" strategy in some cases but every officer had to be prepared to shoot an offender who was already firing on them.
"If a person is actively shooting or actively engaging community or police, the best practice now worldwide is to engage with the offender as early as possible," he said.
Mr Lanyon said every officer had to be prepared to come face-to-face with an armed offender.
"The Lindt cafe scenario showed that such a scenario can happen in Australia and that's the reason we need to prepare," he said. "You can get them into a safe environment as opposed to the first time being in a live scenario."
The training is based on the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, used by the FBI.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said the building also allowed for outdoor training scenarios, which include vehicle-borne threats.
The purpose-built facility is designed with both internal and external training areas to allow scenario and reality-based training for all types of situations," Mr Fuller said.
Originally published as Officers now trained to shoot first in some hostage cases