Police begin training of 1,850 SWAT personnel today

The police authorities have partnered the International Committee of the Red Cross and other development partners on the training of the new Special Weapons and Tactics Team which commences on Monday (today).

The Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in a statement on Sunday, said the SWAT, which replaced the Special Anti-Robbery Squad that was disbanded last week for involvement in acts of impunity and misconduct, would be trained in humanitarian laws, police conduct in a conflict situation, human rights- especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention, amongst others.

Other areas of the training programme 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.

The training modules are expected to be handled by carefully selected development partners, security experts as well as veterans from the civil society and human rights community.

The statement said the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, charged the training coordinators to ensure a diligent and timely delivery of the tactical team to “fill the void created by the dissolution of the defunct SARS, particularly during the ‘Ember Months’ traditionally characterised by an upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.”

The statement, titled: ‘NPF new tactical team commences training Monday, October 19’, stated, “Adamu reiterated that no personnel of the defunct SARS would be part of the SWAT, noting that 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 – no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms.”

According to him, the officers are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT training and operations, adding that they will be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening and those found to be unsuitable will be discharged.

The IG also assured that the new unit would operate “within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.”

He equally sought the cooperation of the citizens “in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force.”

Adamu enjoined them to be patient and to believe in the reform processes which he said were directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all.

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