60 graduate as new SWAT cops

CAMP BGEN OSCAR M FLORENDO- “The easiest part, your training, is now over, but the hardest part is yet to come.”

This was the challenge of Police Chief Superintendent Ricardo C. Marquez, Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) Regional Director to the 60 police commissioned and non-commissioned officers who graduated from the 45-day Special Weapons and Armed Tactics (SWAT) course here last Oct. 18.

After the inspirational message of the Regional Director, the top guns of the graduates demonstratedn their shooting skills using different firearms in different positions and distances to the delight of the crowd composed of the family and friends of the graduates, personnel of PRO1, Regional Public Safety Battalion 1 (RPSB-1), the SWAT trainors and lecturers and other police units.

Likewise, a close quarter combat (CQC) wherein the graduates demonstrated different SWAT scenarios like how to handle Very Important Person (VIP) security, and hostage rescues using a tactical, well-planned, aggressive, coordinated response and entry in engaging heavily armed terrorists, criminals and barricaded buildings.

“Now that these policemen are trained, they can perform high-risk operations that are outside the capabilities of the local police stations.” PCSupt. Marquez added.

The regional director also cited the Hong Kong bus hostage situation a few years ago wherein lapses by the attending SWAT units resulted to the failure of the operation and the death of a number of tourists.

“It haunts us not only because of the lack of training of the personnel and the fault of the tactical units, the men in the field but also those in the field of investigation, to the senior commanding officers.  We hope, with this graduation, our men would be much more capable in handling a similar situation,” he stressed.

The said course is a specialized training in line with the CODE-P of PNP Chief Purisima under the letter C which means competence.

According to Police Senior Superintendent Reynaldo G. Biay, RPSB-1 Battalion Commander, the SWAT Class 01- 2013 started with a total of 68 students but only 60 managed to graduate because two of them unfortunately died in a vehicular accident outside training, while the rest did not meet the required standard.

He also said that another SWAT class is being planned to open in the following month.#