This year the annual PICP Conference and the PICP WAN Chairs’ Meeting were held in Pago Pago, American Samoa. The events were hosted by the American Samoa Department of Public Safety who provided assistance with planning, resources and logistics, and who created a safe and welcoming environment for all the attendees.

Over the course of the five days, close to 100 delegates were in attendance including:

  • Nineteen of the twenty-one PICP Chiefs
  • Nineteen of the twenty-one PICP WAN Chairs’
  • Guest speakers and observers from INTERPOL, International Association of Chiefs of Police, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Pacific Islands Forum, Oceania Customs Organisation, Forum Fisheries Agency, ERS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZ), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Aus) and other non-government organisations and police services from Pacific countries.

Although delegates attended from a range of organisations and sectors, it was clear that all shared common bonds; a commitment to work collaboratively towards solutions, to strengthen communications locally and regionally, and to endorse actions that would lead to better policing and security across the Pacific.

A special thank you to the Samoa Police Service and the Government of Samoa who assisted with in-transit transportation of delegates in Apia, Samoa.

Download PICP 2019 Conference Communique

PICP Women’s Advisory Network (WAN) Chairs’ Meeting
19 and 20 August
Shaping our future WAN 2020-2024

48th PICP Conference
21 to 23 August
A Pacific United: Preventing drug harm within our communities

PICP Women’s Advisory Network (WAN) Chairs’ Meeting – 19 to 20 August

The PICP Women’s Advisory Network (WAN) Chairs’ Meeting was held at Tradewinds Hotel. The theme of the meeting was ‘Shaping our future WAN 2020-2024’. The meeting was to finalise the

  • Draft WAN Strategic Plan 2020-2024 and Action Plan 2020-2024 and
  • Draft Declaration of Partnership between Chiefs and WAN.

The outcomes of the meeting were presented to the Chiefs at the Conference.
The WAN Chair’s Meeting began early on 19th of August with Commissioner HTC Le’i Sonny Thompson giving a warm and encouraging welcome. The out-going WAN Chair Efo Moalele-Tuua from Samoa gave the opening prayer before welcoming the incoming Chair from American Samoa Vaivasa Wells. The attendees were encouraged by WAN Executive Lead, Commissioner Matthew Varley, who spoke with positivity and conviction about the importance of the work ahead and how the WAN has the firm support of the Chiefs.

The WAN Chairs’ meeting was facilitated by Strategist Consultant, Ingrid Peek and assisted by PICP Secretariat Executive Co-ordinator, David MacGregor. Over the course of the two days there were multiple sessions to further develop the goals, vision and actions for presentation to the Chiefs. Both days of the meeting ran longer than expected with attendees dedicating their time to the outcomes and conference presentation. On the last day of the meeting, a Chiefs’ and WAN Partnership Dinner was hosted at Tradewinds Hotel. The dinner signified the ongoing commitment of Chiefs and WAN to work together for a shared goal.

– If we make policing better for women, then we make policing better, and better for the communities we serve.

Download PICP WAN 2019 Photo

48th PICP Conference– 21 to 23 August

The PICP Conference was held at the Ottoville Professional Building on 21 and 22 August, and the Chief’s Retreat was held at the newly renovated Pago Pago Police Station on the 23 August.

The theme of the conference was ‘A Pacific United: Preventing drug harm within our communities’.

The Conference aimed to present current and relevant information and collective knowledge from a range of industry experts around disrupting the supply and reducing the demand of illicit drugs. The conference was structured in a way so that many views on these issues could be heard which would permit a more holistic collaborative response.

The Chiefs and honoured guests arrived for the official opening of the conference by escorted motorcade. Once seated, delegates were officially welcomed by PICP Chair Commissioner HTC Le’i Sonny Thompson from the Department of Public Safety and then by the American Samoa Attorney General, Honourable HTC Lolo Matalasi Moliga, on behalf of the Governor of American Samoa.

The President of INTERPOL, KIM Jong Yang, delivered the key note speech at the opening ceremony. He described the rapidly growing issues of narcotic trafficking in the Pacific, and stressed that cross-border cooperation and the flow of information was key to the solution.

After the opening ceremony, WAN Chairs’ representatives outlined the draft WAN Strategic Plan 2020-2024 and Action Plan to the Chiefs. The Chiefs endorsed to meet with their respective WAN Chairs and support the finalisation of the WAN Strategic Plan and Action for ELT Feb 2020.

PICP Executive Director Superintendent Carl McLennan provided assistance to the Chair in the running of conference sessions which included
– Session1: Increasing Awareness. Presentations from UNDOC, PTCCC, JITFW, RCMP
– Session 2: Delivering a targeted and collaborative Response. Presentations from ESR, IACP, Tonga Police, American Samoa DPS, FFA, PIF-S, PIDC
– Session 3: Legislation and Regulatory Controls. Presentations from PILON, PIF-S, New Zealand Police, CNMI
– Session 4: Impacts on a Pacific Community. Paramount Chief Mauga T. Asuega

The presentations painted a concerning picture of drug trafficking in the Pacific and growing domestic drug demand. Recommendations included improving cross-jurisdictional and inter-agency intelligence sharing in the Pacific, developing financial intelligence, investing in forensics and border control (resources, training and safety measures), signing up to UNDOC International Drug Control Conventions, and addressing legislative gaps and policies.

At the end of each Conference day, the Chiefs continued discussions in a closed session facilitated by Amanda McCormick from the Australian Institute of Police Management.

In contrast to the very factual presentations by industry experts, was the heart felt talk from Paramount Chief Mauga T. Asuega who spoke of the impact of drugs in his local community. His words brought the message home of why this work is so important.

The PICP Chair’s Award was presented to Tonga Police Detective Acting Superintendent Halatoa Taufa for his leadership and commitment as the Head of the Police Drug Enforcement Taskforce which has helped to reduce serious crimes in Tonga.

The third day of the conference was a closed Retreat giving the Chiefs an opportunity to reflect over the presentations and make decisions on major regional priorities. Topics included the Pacific Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Pacific Transnational Crime Network Health Check and Pacific Fusion Centre.
The last evening was hosted by the American Samoa Government and held at Utulei Fale, Pago Pago. Delegates were escorted to the venue and met by American Samoan dignitaries including the First Lady of American Samoa. The event was joyful and attendees were entertained by traditional dance from local performers.

The 2020 conference will be held in Fiji and hosted by the Fiji Police Force. Commissioner HTC Le’i Sonny Thompson formally welcomed Brigadier General Qiliho, Commissioner of Fiji Police as the new PICP Deputy Chair. The 2020 Conference will be the 50th anniversary of the forming of the PICP, formerly known as the South Pacific Chiefs of Police Conference, and established in Fiji. The theme of the 2020 Conference will be announced later this year.

Download PICP Chiefs 2019 Photo