The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed A Adamu, has disclosed that plans had been concluded for the Special Weapons and Tactical Team (SWAT) formed to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to begin training and operational studies.
He explained that the trainings and operational studies scheduled to commence on October 18 (tomorrow) would include topics touching on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situation, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention.
Other areas listed by the police boss were 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.
Through a statement released on Sunday by the Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, Adamu explained that the training modules would be handled by selected development partners, security experts as well as veterans from the civil society and human rights community.
He noted that the new tactical team would operate within high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of international policing practices.
According to him, the force would be partnering with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other development partners for the training of the tactical team at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.
“The IGP reiterates that no personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will be a member the new Tactical Team. 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 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.
“The IGP charges the training coordinators to ensure a diligent and timely delivery of the Tactical Team. 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 IGP therefore seeks the cooperation of the citizens in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force. He enjoins them to be patient and to believe in the reform processes which are all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all,” the statement said.