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PM presents bravery awards to police officers who arrested alleged Christchurch gunman

News from NZ Police Association
The two officers involved in the capture and arrest of the alleged gunman in the March 15 attacks on two Christchurch mosques are the recipients of the 2019 New Zealand Police Association Bravery Award. The names of the officers have been suppressed by the court. The awards were therefore presented by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a private ceremony during the association’s 84th annual conference in Wellington today.

Officers A and B, as they are temporarily being referred to, have said they are extremely proud to have been given this award, particularly as they were nominated by their colleagues.

In receiving the award the officers acknowledged their colleagues, fellow first responders and the public, for the courageous actions taken on that day.

“We were doing our job and were part of a huge and focused operation which resulted in the arrest of the alleged gunman. In doing our job we represented all Police staff around the country who put themselves in harm’s way every day. This includes those who have gone before us who set the bar high for the rest of us to meet,” the officers said.

“We have known each other for many years, including playing many games of rugby together, and had total trust in each other’s abilities, and total faith that the other would do their job and continue to go forward regardless of what we encountered.”

With a good knowledge of Christchurch and as experienced police officers, they had the foresight to consider potential escape options. At that stage they did not know if there was more than one offender, but the officers believed there was already a good chance the offender, or offenders, would have left the mosques.

“For us, knowing we played our part in possibly preventing further casualties is really important.”

“We know our families are truly proud of what we were able to do, and that has helped tremendously in the past months.”

We are proud of the way all New Zealanders united as a nation that rejects such abhorrent views and actions that were behind this atrocity.

“To those families who were torn apart by this event, through death or injury, our hearts go out to you all. As officers our job is to keep New Zealanders safe so when we can’t do that, it cuts deep.”

Police Association President Chris Cahill said all Police staff are incredibly proud of the courageous actions of their two colleagues.

“All officers wonder how they would respond when faced with a split-second decision to risk their lives,” Mr Cahill said.

“These two officers have answered that question by responding with outstanding bravery which protected many others from further harm.”

“I am sure all New Zealanders will join the association in thanking these officers for their truly courageous actions,” Mr Cahill said.

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