Barely twenty-four hours after the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was disbanded, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on Tuesday set up the Special Weapons and Tactics Team that will replace the dissolved unit.
Also, the IGP has ordered all personnel of the defunct SARS to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.
The officers are expected to undergo the process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.
The latest developments were contained in a press statement by the Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, in Abuja, titled ‘IGP orders all defunct SARS personnel to report at the force headquarters for psychological and medical examination’.
The statement disclosed that prospective members of the new SWAT team, who would undergo tactical training next week, will undergo a psychological and medical examination to ascertain their fitness and eligibility for the new assignment.
Mba, disclosed that the personnel from police commands in the South-East and the South-South will be trained at the Counter-Terrorism College, Nonwa-Tai, Rivers State.
Those from the police commands in 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 State, respectively.
The statement read, “The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, today, 13th October 2020, in accordance with section 18 (10) of the Police Act 2020, ordered all personnel of the defunct SARS to report at the Force Headquarters, Abuja for debriefing, psychological and medical examination.
“The officers are expected to undergo this process as a prelude to further training and reorientation before being redeployed into mainstream policing duties.
“The medical examination will be carried out by the newly set-up Police Counselling and Support Unit, a unit, which henceforth, shall engage in psychological management, re-orientation and training of officers of the Force deployed for tactical operations and other duties. “
According to the statement, the unit, which is domiciled with the Force Medical Department and coordinated by the Force Medical Officer, has its membership drawn from psychiatrists, psychologists, medics, pastors and imams, public relations practitioners, civil society and other human rights groups with relevant qualifications and expertise.
He therefore reassured his commitment towards the successful and holistic implementation of the police reforms.
He further asked members of 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 the citizenry.”