By Tony Akowe, Abuja
1. A designated law enforcement team whose members are recruited, selected, trained, equipped, and assigned to resolve critical incidents involving a threat to public safety which would otherwise exceed the capabilities of traditional law enforcement first responders and/or investigative units.
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.
READ ALSO: SWAT Team to replace SARS
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.