Guns don’t kill people, nametags kill people
A nervous Melbourne Protective Services Officer accidentally fired his new gun on his first day while trying to rip a name tag off the weapon.
Assistant Commissioner Chris O'Neill said it was human error that caused the PSO to accidentally fire a shot into the floor at the Victorian Police Centre (VPC) in Docklands around 5.15pm (AEST) on Thursday.
"It's a very unusual occurrence to happen," he told reporters on Friday.
"He's loaded the firearm in the correct manner, placed it in his holster but with a systems issue, failed to remove the identification name tag.
"Upon removing that name tag the trigger has been pulled and the shotgun discharged."
The shot was fired into the floor at the VPC equipment issue office, where other PSOs were likely present before the start of their 6pm shift, Mr O'Neill said.
"At that time of day there would have been other PSOs commencing," he said.
"The PSO would have been a bit nervous about day one."
Mr O'Neill said he had also made the same mistake when issued with his gun but said PSO training was "fantastic".
"It's one of those things you only do once," he said.
"It was a system issue on this occasion - human error by not taking (the) tag off and we will have systems in place to make sure that doesn't happen again."
Mr O'Neill said no one was injured and no members of the public were at the centre.
Currently, 192 armed PSO officers patrol Melbourne's trains.
The state government has a long-standing election promise to deliver 940 PSOs across every Melbourne train station and major regional locations by November 2014.
Mr O'Neill said transit CIU detectives are investigating the incident with oversight provided by the Ethical Standards Department.
The PSO will be briefed and back to work on Friday.
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