Last week 55 officers from Townsville, Cairns and Mt Isa Tactical Crime Squads undertook their annual Defensive Shield Training in Townsville. The training was facilitated by Brisbane based specialist officers from the Public Safety Response Team (PSRT). The physically demanding course provides local officers with the skills and knowledge to effectively deal with serious public order incidents.
The training is in line with the QPS strategic plan’s mission to stop crime and make the community safer. Trained officers can be deployed for a number of reasons including, but not limited to; protection and evacuation of persons from riot affected areas, protection of infrastructure in riot affected areas and movement of high risk persons in custody.
Officer-in-Charge of the Townsville Tactical Crime Squad, Senior Sergeant Jason Shepherd stated that the training provides officers with the skills and confidence to effectively deal with serious public order incidents. Officers undertake the same training as the Brisbane based PSRT and would be the initial line of defence for serious public order incidents in North Queensland. Townsville-based trained officers had previously been pre-deployed during the G20 Summit in 2014 and have also been utilised successfully in Townsville to deal with serious incidents at Cleveland Youth Detention Centre.
Senior Sergeant Shepherd stated that ideally there would be no requirement for this type of training, however in order to ensure that the QPS is appropriately equipped to respond to any serious public order incidents throughout Queensland; Defensive Shield training in necessary. As indicated by the QPS prior to the 2014 G20 summit, the QPS will always train and prepare for the worst, but ultimately hope for the best.