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All frontline officers in Canterbury have been told to carry firearms until further notice.
The decision was made by the district commander, Superintendent John Price, today after two related incidents - in the suburbs of Wainoni on Saturday and Richmond on Tuesday night - in which officers were shot at.
One person has been taken into custody after the Christchurch shooting but police were still seeking one other person in relation to Wainoni incident.
All frontline police have firearms in their vehicles, but the Canterbury officers will also be carrying them in a holster.
In a statement, Mr Price said the decsion to arm all officers was not one to be taken lightly.
He said he believed it was necessary in this instance to ensure the safety of police staff and members of the public.