SWAT (Bangladesh)

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Special Weapons And Tactics
Active 15 January 2009–Present
Country  Bangladesh
Branch Under direct command of the DMP Commissioner
Type Special Operations
Role Domestic Counter-Terrorism and Law Enforcement
Size Classified (More than 100)
Part of Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police
Nickname SWAT

SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) is an elite tactical unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Bangladesh. They operate under the Detective Branch of DMP. Eventually, the newly formed DMP unit SWAT is going to be expanded outwards forming one or more battalions. The force would remain as a part of the police force.

There are many members currently in the team and posted in Dhaka, but they can be called up for any emergency to anywhere.[1]

The SWAT will go for action whenever existing law enforcing agencies even the elite force of Bangladesh Police Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) would fail to deal with the criminal groups or any criminal. The members of this team equipped with sophisticated weapons will act as 'quick response' and conduct 'risky' operations in Dhaka City and even outside if requires. This is a special wing of the Detective Branch, will work under direct control of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner.[2]

The team will be more powerful than the elite police unit Rapid Action Battalion (RAB),[3] especially since "This new force has been created especially to recover illegal arms and arrest the hardcore terrorists," said the DMP Commissioner Nayeem Ahmed.[3]

Duties[edit]

The SWAT unit is tasked to do the following under the Detective Branch:[1]

  • Hostage rescue.
  • Crime reduction.
  • Crime suppression.
  • Perimeter anti-sniper security for VIPs.
  • Providing superior assault firepower in certain high-risk situations.
  • Rescuing officers and citizens captured or endangered by gunfire.
  • Countering urban terrorist operations.
  • Resolve high-risk situations with a minimum loss of life, injury or property damage.
  • Resolve situations involving barricaded subjects, (specifically covered by a Hostage Barricade Team).
  • Stabilise situations involving high-risk suicidal subjects.
  • Provide assistance during drug raids, and serving high-risk arrest and search warrants.
  • Provide additional security at special events.
  • Stabilising dangerous situations by dealing with violent criminals (such as serial killers or heavily armed gangsters ).

Operations[edit]

The SWAT was established on February 28, 2009, and was supposed to be deployed in Dhaka on March 1 of that year.[4]

However the SWAT unit went operational before that date and seized the hosted service company Aktel, which was illegally providing service to five VoIP carriers. There were arrests and the equipment was confiscated as VoIP is banned in Bangladesh.[5]

They were also deployed for security during the Bangladeshi general election, 2008, Pahela Baishakh and at Shaheed Minar during celebrations for International Mother Language Day.[6][7][8]

Countering the rising car thefts in Dhaka is an immediate and top priority.[3] The Dhaka Metropolitan Police also plans to reinforce security at hotels around the nation.[9]

Training[edit]

SWAT applicants undergo rigorous selection and training, similar to the training some special operations units in the military receive. Applicants must pass stringent physical agility, written, oral, and psychological testing to ensure they are not only fit enough but also psychologically suited for tactical operations. Applicants must successfully pass a stringent background investigation and job performance review. Emphasis is placed on physical fitness so an officer will be able to withstand the rigors of tactical operations.

Operatives are trained in marksmanship for the development of accurate shooting skills, although the use of firearms is considered a last resort in law enforcement.

Other training that could be given to potential members includes training in explosives, sniper-training, defensive tactics, first-aid, negotiation, handling K9 units, abseiling (rappelling) and roping techniques and the use of specialized weapons and equipment.

They may also be trained specifically in the handling and use of special ammunition such as bean bags, flash bang grenades, tasers, and the use of crowd control methods, and special less-lethal munitions.

Basic training was conducted in Dhaka and Tangail districts.[1] Afterwards, SWAT members are sent to the Blackwater Training Academy, North Carolina, United States for six weeks advanced training.[1] The FBI also provides SWAT training to Bangladeshi SWAT officers.[1][10]

Equipment[edit]

Weapons[edit]

The following weapons are used by the SWAT team:[1]

Vehicles[edit]

SWAT officers use Toyota Hilux vehicles as their main mode of transport, although Humvees are going to be procured.[1] APCs and helicopters are also used by SWAT.[1]

References[edit]