Change of name: Nigerian Government announces new police squad

Barely few days after disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Nigerian Government has set up a new team code named Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) to fill the gap created by dissolution

Penpushing reports that, the Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mohammed Adamu, made the announcement on Tuesday explaining that prospective members of the new team will undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.

The Force in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba said the order was in accordance with Section 18 (10) of the Police Act, 2020stressing that, the psychological and medical examination were a prelude to further training and reorientation before redeployment into mainstream policing duties

“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.

Penpushing further reports that, Mba said the police boss  had ordered personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) to report at the Force Headquarters for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.

The statement emphasized that, the medical examination will be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit (PCSU),adding that  the unit, would henceforth, be engaged in psychological management, reorientation and training of officers of the Force deployed for tactical operations and other duties.

Penpushing also reports the force spokesman  said the unit, domiciled with the Force Medical Department, would be coordinated by the force medical officer, explaining that membership of the unit would be drawn from psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors and imams, public relations practitioners, civil society and other human rights groups with relevant qualifications and expertise.

The statement  pledged the commitment of the Inspector General of Police to ensure successful and holistic implementation of the police reforms, and enjoined the public, particularly protesting citizens, to exercise restraint and allow measures being put in place to come to fruition and engender a Police Force that would meet the yearnings and aspirations of citizens.

Penpushing reports that, the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) idea is apparently drawn from the United States where an eponymous unit provides specialised security intervention for police teams across the country.

Meanwhile, it is on record that the country has continued to witness  protests by irate youth against the brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS)alleged to be  notorious  while the protest has equally claimed lives of at least 10 persons.


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