A team of 24 personnel chosen from the district police force will soon be given Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) training. These persons, who have been selected from various police stations across the district, will be trained in high-risk, commando-style operations.

According to Wikipedia, the first SWAT team was established in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1968. Since then, many American police departments, especially in major cities and at the federal and State-levels of Government, have established their own elite units under various names. These units, regardless of their official name, are referred to collectively as SWAT teams. Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao will be in charge of the training programme. Mr. Rao was part of the Indian Crisis Response Team that underwent a six-week intensive training course in SWAT in 2006 at Louisiana, United States.

The duties of the team would include performing hostage rescues and counter terrorism operations, serving high-risk arrest warrants, and engaging heavily-armed criminals, Mr. Rao told The Hindu. Unlike conventional law enforcement and crisis response teams, each member of the SWAT team would be armed with two firearms. Depending on the sort of situation they would be asked to handle, the team would be kitted with AK-47, Carbine or the INSAS assault rifle. They would also be issued a 9 mm pistol as a secondary weapon, Mr. Rao said.

Mr. Rao, however, downplayed the constitution of the force and said that he did not want his special training to be wasted.

“The team is not being formed because we perceive some specific threats. The team’s services might never be required and they might be called in for normal law-enforcement or riot situations,” he said.

The team’s blue uniform gave them an unconventional and menacing appearance. “Their appearance might prove very useful in controlling violence on the streets,” he added.

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