More than early morning karate exercises, the new SWAT team needs psychological evaluation

Like the popular American one liner goes; “There’s a new Sheriff in town.” A quote often used to emphasize a change in order, except in this case there’s literally a new Sheriff in town.

The Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu, wasn’t playing around when he announced that the Federal Anti Robbery squad (FSARS) unit would be replaced with a rehabilitated team which he dubbed Special Weapons and Tactics simply known as SWAT. He also mentioned that this team would specialise in high level criminal activities including response to robbery attacks, rescue operations, and special operations involving high-profile criminals.

In furtherance of the supposed plan to revamp a failed police system, about three weeks ago, all SARS members were recalled to Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, for debriefing, after which they were transferred to the Police Mobile College in Eggon, Nasarawa State for full training.

Today, however, the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, disclosed that he is pleased with the progress the new SWAT unit has made so far.

I am happy with the progress the personnel is making and charged them to be good role models of the society.

“I believe at the end of this exercise you are going to come out as very dedicated and very committed mobile police officers who will be equal to the task we have assigned to you.

“Your new responsibility as a replacement to SARS is to face the challenges of armed robbery and other crimes across the country.” He stated.

A video of these men undergoing physical training was released and to be honest, it just appears to be like your typical PR stunt.

Even if we agreed that we now have physically fit security agents, as the video suggests, our worries for an ethical orientation is still primary, and has not been responded to.

Young Nigerians called for an end to SARS owing to the universally impudent conduct of this unit.

If these newly trained men return to society with the same mindset, then all this would have been for naught. In fact, one could argue that they would be more of a threat to civilians than they were prior.

More than physical trainings, these men need mental and physiological trainings. So, instead of releasing videos of these men training in karate, how about they give us a run down on the curriculum these men would be training under.

Also, it would put people’s mind at ease if a detailed account of the accountability measures put in place so these men don’t step out of line would be released.

How citizens can protect themselves from police brutality should be taught to these men, so that when a citizen demands to talk with an officer’s superior, such demands should not be received with hostility, but rather the police man present understands that the request is born of discomfort and fear, and the police man should of course know that such a request is well within the right of the citizen.

In more progressive police systems, body cams are outfitted onto police uniforms so that every encounter a police man has with a civilian, should it go south, can be accessed via the prerecorded video on the cam, and released to the general public on demand. These are the kind of news we need, things that hold police men accountable, not the show Nigerians were being treated to.

Also, police men should be taught to read the rights of citizens to Nigerians before making an arrest, and of course police men should be taught to exercise restrain while also being extremely observant of their environment and the situation at hand.

The training itself should consist primarily of the conduct of the police, after a physical evaluation must have been taken. To put things in context, just like in football, a physical assessment should be taken so it is determined if these men can continue with the rehabilitation program, but the rehabilitation program in itself should consist more of training these men to behave more civil and more responsible with the jurisdiction they have been given.

We cannot have a PR stunt and the release of the same set of people on the streets again. But, the Police IG promised no more street parades, so we wait to see if that particular order will be obeyed.

For now, let’s demand more than physical early morning exercises for later to be called ‘trained policemen’.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail