Breaking: Police announce newly-created SWAT team will replace SARS
The new outfit which is to be known as Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, will fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the SARS. This was disclosed in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, in Abuja. SWAT will fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of SARS who tackled violent crimes.
The Nigeria Police Force has announced the creation of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit to replace the recently-dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
SARS was dissolved days ago following nationwide protests against the extra-judicial activities of the group that have escalated over the past few years.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said in a statement on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 that SWAT will fill the gaps left by SARS whose main role was tackling violent crimes especially armed robbery and kidnapping.
The prospective members of the new outfit, who would undergo tactical training next week, will also undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.
Mba 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 State. 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 State, respectively.’’
SARS officers recalled to Abuja
Officers of the defunct SARS have also been ordered to return to Force Headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological, and medical examination.
The IGP reiterated his commitment towards the implementation of sweeping Police reforms and called on Nigerians to exercise restraint while protesting.
His previous announcement of the dissolution of SARS had failed to put an end to the protests that started last week.
Protests have especially turned bloody as police officers have used force or opened fire on protesters, with deaths recorded in Lagos and Oyo over the past few days.
Many protesters have also been arrested and assaulted by police officers for participating in the protests.
Many have already called for the IGP's resignation for the conduct of his officers in policing the peaceful protests.
Also, the Inspector General of Police has ordered all the personnel of the defunct SARS to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.
Mba said that the officers are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.
He said, “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.
“The Unit, which is domiciled with the Force Medical Department and coordinated by the Force Medical Officer, has its membership is drawn from amongst psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors and imams, Public Relations practitioners, Civil Society and other Human Rights groups with relevant qualifications and expertise.”