St. Maarten will be getting a Special Weapons and Tactics
(SWAT) team in three months. Six specifically selected men left for Curacao on Sunday 5 January for a three-month intensive course. The SWAT team will be a “full fledged” arrest team focusing on criminals considered armed and dangerous. Richard Panneflek, Police Commissioner, said the unit could be compared to other SWAT teams operating around the world.
Some of the selected individuals were new officers especially recruited to form part of this team. “When fully operational these teams have proven to be a great asset to the police force to combat dangerous criminals who are heavily armed,” said Panneflek. The SWAT team would be complementing and not replacing the riot team, said Panneflek. The riot team is specialized in dealing with masses and deployed in cases of disorder. Curacao has a special arrest team, while St. Maarten used to have one in the past.