The Nigerian Police has said the newly formed special weapons and tactics (SWAT) unit will commence training on Monday in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other Development Partners.
The police in a statement by Force Public Relations officer, Frank Mba said the training will be conducted at the Police Mobile Force Training School in the southwestern Osun State as well as the Police Mobile Force Training School in Northcentral Nasarawa State.
According to the police spokesman no personnel of the disbanded Special Anti-robbery Squad will be part of the new unit.
“The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu reiterates that no personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will be a member the new Tactical Team. Officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven 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,” Mba said in the statement.
The police said ICRC, an independent International human rights and humanitarian support organization with over seventy-one years 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,” said the police spokesman.
He said the necessity for the immediate establishment of a new Tactical Team is in view of the need to fill voids created by the dissolution of the defunct SARS particularly during the “EMBER Month” traditionally characterized with upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.
The Inspector-general of police has therefore called for the cooperation of the citizens in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force, urging Nigerians to be patient and believe in the reform processes which are all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all.
By Abel Ejikeme