Nigeria: #EndSARS - New Police Tactical Team Begins Training Monday

18 October 2020

Abuja — The Nigeria Police said weekend that training for the new police tactical team would commence Monday after last week's dissolution of the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The involvement the dissolved SARS in extra-judicial killings, extortion and general human rights abuses triggered massive nationwide #EndSARS protests calling for police reformation.

A statement issued by Force Headquarters said the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, reaffirmed that the new police tactical team would operate within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.

It said in pursuant of the above objectives, the NPF was partnering with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other development partners for the training of the tactical team which commences today at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.

The IG reassured that no personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) would be a member the new tactical team.

He noted that "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 among others and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged".

The statement signed by Force PRO and Deputy Commisioner of Police (DCP), Frank Mba, said the he 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 and materials to handle the human rights components of the training program.

"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 program will include modern-day police ethics and values, intelligence-led policing, operation planning/tactical decision making processes, hostage rescue tactics and operation, weapon handling, first aid/basic life saving skills, stress/fear management, police-citizens relations and emotional intelligence etc", he said.

Mba 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 IG charged the training coordinators to ensure a diligent and timely delivery of the tactical team.

He observed that 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 particularly during the "EMBER Month" traditionally characterised with upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.

The IG, therefore, sought the cooperation of the citizens in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force.

He enjoined them to be patient and to believe in the reform processes which are all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all.

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