SARS Officers Will Not To Be Part Of SWAT, Police PRO Says | #EndSWAT

Frank Mba Police PRO SWAT OnoBello

Ex-Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) officers have been barred from joining the newly-created tactical unit Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), the Nigeria Police Force spokesman Frank Mba confirmed on Wednesday.

Days ago, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu disbanded SARS following nationwide protests against the extra-judicial activities of the group that have escalated over the past few years.

The IGP then when ahead to announce SWAT, which will fill the gaps left by SARS whose main role was tackling violent crimes especially armed robbery and kidnapping. However, according to a police memo shared today, one of the mandates notes that new SWAT officers will not be selected from the now-defunct SARS.

Officers to be recruited must also have at least seven years policing service experience, and must be passed physically fit to withstand training and operation. They will also undergo medical and psychological fitness to certify them fit medically, emotionally, and psychologically.

“All personnel will as a critical pre-requisite undergo and pass medical examination, psychometry and toxicological screening for drug of abuse which will be conducted by the Police Medical Services during training and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged,” the memo, signed by the IGP, read.

Another criteria for selection is that prospective SWAT officers must not have pending disciplinary issues, or any serious previous record of professional misconduct touching on intemperate behaviour, incivility to members of the public, corrupt practices, and misuse of firearms.

For operational service, recruited officers must be between the ages of 25 and 40 years, and 35 and 45 years for command elements. The document also states clearly that SWAT teams are to be strictly intelligence-led, and only to respond to robbery attacks, scenes of weapons-related crimes, and rescue operations.

They will also embark on special operations involving high-profile criminals that constitute threats to national security including anti-banditry, counterterrorism, and counter-insurgency operations that require special tactical response.

50 officers and men are to be selected from the FCID, and each 36 State Police Commands and the FCT for the first batch of training. The basic training of SWAT officers will start on Sunday, October 18, and will run for three weeks in three camps across the country.

Adamu in Tuesday’s statement ordered officers of the defunct SARS to return to Force Headquarters in Abuja for debriefing, psychological, and medical examination. Officers are also to be retrained and reoriented before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.

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