The Mumbai Polices Quick Response Teams (QRTs) will be revamped and modelled along the lines of the Los Angeles Police Departments (LAPD) elite SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams. This was revealed by Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik on Wednesday,days after he attended a course on Critical Incidents and Tactical Response at the FBI Academy in Los Angeles.
The most important takeaway from the visit will be that we got to see the LAPDs SWAT teams and interact with their officials. We will now revamp our QRTs and make them elite units that can match other such crack teams anywhere in the world. Of course,they might not have the advantage of technology and weaponry,but we will ensure that our QRTs are not found wanting, said Patnaik.
DCP Sandeep Karnik is being placed in charge of the QRTs as a young and active officer was needed for the post. I will take personal interest in the QRTs as well, said the CP. Karnik,currently posted in the Special Branch in the city,was earlier posted as Superintendent of Police (Pune rural) and was in charge of security during the Maval agitation on August 9 in which three farmers died in police firing.
Karnik had written a letter at the time to the then Maharashtra Director General of Police Ajit Parasnis,seeking a transfer from the Pune posting. According to sources,Karnik sought the transfer on the grounds that he did not want people to misconstrue his continuance in the post as an obstacle to the probe ordered into the firing. Karnik,incidentally,is Parasniss son-in-law.
Patnaik was accompanied by Additional Commissioner of Police (Force One) Sadanand Date for the week-long course in LA. According to Patnaik,the course was tailor-made for policing in Mumbai and the experiences and lessons learnt from the 26/11 attack dominated the discussions.
The two officers were part of a larger contingent from India. The exchange was a joint effort involving senior Indian and Australian officers and the US. FBI,US Department of Defense,LAPD and LA County Sheriffs Department and focused on police planning and tactical responses to critical and violent situations.
There were many aspects of the 26/11 attacks that were unique,presenting unprecedented challenges. Learning first-hand about the Indian experience was an extremely beneficial exercise and will allow for better strategic contingency planning by US experts, said Daniel C Clegg,the FBI attaché at the US Embassy in New Delhi.