The Inspector General of Police (I-G), Mohammed Adamu, has said the training for the new police tactical team, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) of the Nigeria Police will commence on Monday.
This is despite the ongoing nationwide protests which led to the dissolution of the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and rejection of the newly formed replacement, SWAT.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Mr Adamu said the new team would operate within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.
He said the training for SWAT personnel was being organised in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other unnamed development partners.
The police boss said the training would hold at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.
According to him, no personnel of the defunct SARS will be a member of the new tactical team.
“The officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven years working experience with clean service records.
“No pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations.
“The selected officers shall be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged,” he said.
He said the ICRC, an independent International human rights and humanitarian support organisation “with over 71 years experience in humanitarian services and institutional support and development, would provide resource persons.”
Mr Adamu said the body would also provide materials to handle the human rights components of the training programme.
“Specifically, they will handle topics touching on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situation, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention amongst others.
“Other areas of the training programme will include modern day police ethics and values, Intelligence-led policing, Operation planning/Tactical decision making processes and hostage rescue tactics and operation.
“It will also cover weapon handling, first aid/basic life saving skills, stress/fear management, police-citizens relations and emotional intelligence,” he added.
Mr Adamu said the training modules would be handled by other carefully selected development partners, security experts as well as veterans from the civil society and human rights community.
The police boss called on the training coordinators to ensure a diligent and timely delivery of the team.
He said the necessity for the immediate establishment of a new tactical team was in view of the need to fill voids created by the dissolution of the defunct SARS.
He said the idea was to ensure adequate security during the latter months of the year traditionally characterised with upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.
Mr Adamu called for the cooperation of Nigerians in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force.
He enjoined citizens to be patient and believe in the reform processes which were all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all. (NAN)