The Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed has announced that the training for operatives of the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) unit will commence on Monday October 19. The police chief made the announcement in spite of the protest against the replacement of defunct and controversial police unit, SARS with the newly created unit (SWAT).
In a statement released on Sunday October 18 by Nigerian Police Force spokesperson Frank Mba, the IGP was quoted saying that the security operatives will operate within “high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices”.
Adamu Mohammed also disclosed that those to be absorbed into the new police unit are young, smart, and energetic officers with at least seven-year work experience and clean service records with no pending disciplinary matters and no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms.
The statement read;
“The IGP reiterates that no personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will be a member the new Tactical Team. He notes that the officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven (7) years working experience with clean service records – no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms – and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations.
“The selected officers shall be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening etc and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged.
“The ICRC, an independent International human rights and humanitarian support organization with over 71years of experience in humanitarian services and institutional support and development, will provide resource persons and materials to handle the human rights components of the training program.
“Specifically, they will handle topics touching on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situation, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention amongst others.
“Other areas of the training program will include modern-day police ethics and values, Intelligence-led policing, Operation planning/Tactical decision-making processes, Hostage rescue tactics and operation, weapon handling, first aid/basic life-saving skills, stress/fear management, police-citizens relations and emotional intelligence etc.
“The training modules will be handled by other carefully selected development partners, security experts as well as veterans from the civil society and human rights community.”
Mba who noted that the immediate establishment of a new tactical team is in view of the need to fill the void created by the dissolution of the defunct SARS “particularly during the ‘EMBER Month’ traditionally characterized by an upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country”, added that that the police will partner with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other development partners for the training of the team which will take place at at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun state and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa state.