Following the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) due to alleged extra-judicial killings, wanton arrests, and dispossession of property through physical assault and other intimidation tactics, a new unit named Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team created by the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu, will fill the gaps.
Here are eight things you need to know about the new unit:
2. It is a law enforcement team that uses specialized or military equipment and tactics.
3. First created in the 1960s to handle riot control or violent confrontation with criminals and later increased during the war on drugs.
4. SWAT teams are increasingly equipped with military-type hardware and trained to deploy against threats of terrorism, crowd control, hostage-taking, and in situations beyond the capabilities of ordinary law enforcement.
5. SWAT units are often equipped with automatic and specialised firearms and specialised equipment such as submachine guns, assault rifles, riot control agents among others.
6. SWAT units are always called upon to intervene in uncommonly high-risk events such as hostage rescue, counter-terror operations, hazardous engagement, and fugitive tracking.
7. SWAT units are special agents selected from volunteers within their respective Field Offices and undergo unique and rigorous training.
8. SWAT operations are not for the weak or faint-hearted; all unit members must be tactically and technically proficient, well beyond more common law enforcement standards and response.