Thursday, October 15, 2020 11:43 am
The Police on Tuesday, 13th October announced the creation of a new unit known as Special Weapons and Tactics Team, SWAT. The Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu created the unit to fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS.
The IG had announced the disbandment of SARS some 48 hours earlier on Sunday, 11th October. Here are other things you need to know about the development:
1. The old unit, SARS was dissolved in response to popular demand by the #EndSARS Protesters across the country. The unit was accused of high handedness.
2. No member of the disbanded SARS will be drafted into the new unit. To prevent contamination, members of SWAT will be people free from the history of the outlawed unit.
3. Prospective members of this new team will undergo psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.
4. These members are to commence training at the different Police tactical training institutions nationwide, next week.
5. The training schedules are as follows;
A. Police Commands in the South-East and the South-South will be trained at the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State
B. Police Commands from the North will be trained at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ende, Nasarawa State
C. Police Commands from the South-West will be trained at the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Osun State
6. The IGP ordered all operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.
7. The medical examination will be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU), a unit, which henceforth shall engage in psychological management, re-orientation and training of officers of the Force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.
8. The Police Counselling and Support Unit will consist of psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors and imams, Public Relations practitioners, Civil Society and other Human Rights groups with relevant qualifications and expertise
9. The creation of the new unit has not ended the mass protests. In fact, protesters now use a new tag #EndSARS/ SWAT in their activities.