The training of the operatives of the recently created Special Weapons and Tactics Teams (SWAT) unit by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in place of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will commence on Monday in Osun and Nasarawa States.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday by the Force Public Relations Officer, FPRO, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP.
According to the statement, the training which is being organized by the Nigeria Police Force in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other Development Partners would take place at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.
The statement said that the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, reaffirmed that the new Police Tactical Team would operate within a very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.
According to the statement, “the IGP reiterates that no personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will be a member the new Tactical Team while the 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 with 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.
It added that the selected officers shall be subjected to a physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening amongst others and that those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged immediately.
According to the statement, ” ICRC, an independent international human rights and humanitarian support organization with over 71 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 amongst others
“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.”
The IGP charged the training coordinators to ensure a diligent and timely delivery of the Tactical Team.
He observed that the necessity for the immediate establishment of a new Tactical Team was in view of the need to fill voids created by the dissolution of the defunct SARS particularly during the ‘EMBER Month’ traditionally characterized with the upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.
The IGP, therefore, solicited for the cooperation of the citizens in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force.
He enjoined them to be patient and to believe in the reform processes which were all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all.