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Nigeria Police Sets up SWAT to Replace SARS

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Officer Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector-General of Police (IG) has created a new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team to replace the already disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit. This was revealed in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, by Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO).


The SWAT idea is drawn from the United States where a designative unit provides specialised security intervention for police teams across the country.


Frank Mba, the Force Spokesperson affirmed that, while prospective members of the unit are to commence training next week at different police tactical training institutions nationwide, the workforce of the defunct SARS is to report at the Force Headquarters for ‘debriefing, psychological and medical examination’.


The IG in his statement said, ‘Prospective members of this new team will also undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.’


‘They are to commence training at the different police tactical training institutions nationwide, next week.’


‘Personnel from the Police Commands in the South-east and the South-south will be trained at the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers.’


‘Those from the Police Commands from the North and the South-west will be trained at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ende, Nasarawa State and the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Osun, respectively.’

He said the order was in accordance with Section 18 (10) of the Police Act, 2020. He further stated that the medical examination will be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU). And that the unit, would henceforth, be in charge of psychological management, reorientation, and training of officers of the Force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.


The FPRO confirmed that the unit, domiciled with the Force Medical Department, would be coordinated by the force medical officer.
He emphasized that members of the unit would be made up of psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors and imams, public relations practitioners, civil society, and other human rights groups with relevant qualifications and expertise.


Mr. Mba, reiterated the IGP’s commitment towards executing the Police reforms agenda and urged Nigerians to exercise restraint while protesting and allow laid down measures put in place to come to fruition and to promote a Police Force that would meet the desire and aspirations of citizens.

Adenike Omosanya

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