The special police are a scary lot, but they need to be appreciated, for squads like SWAT teams risk their lives everyday to save others and it takes a unique person to sign up and receive training for these Special Forces. Here’s the lowdown on a few of them. Look out! They’re coming through!
The Special Police Operations Battalion of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, is known as BOPE. This elitist group of four hundred soldiers is highly trained in urban warfare and is believed to be among the most violent military forces in Latin America. Their duties include: breaking drug-trafficker barricades, suppressing prison riots, and reconnaissance missions. Their fleet of armored vehicles are known as Peacemaker (Pacificator) and Big Skull (Caveirao) and they are heavily equipped with carbines, M16 rifles, C-4 explosives, Frag grenades and other terrible weapons of warfare.
The SWAT team (Special Weapons and Tactics) is a high-risk American squad of operations that falls outside the jurisdiction and abilities of regular police officers. Some of their “all in a day’s work” tasks include: hostage rescues, counter-terrorism operations and confronting heavily armed criminals of all types. SWAT teams are equipped with highly specialized weapons and equipment such as: assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, carbines, riot control agents, stun grenades, high-powered rifles for snipers, night vision optics, motion detectors and armored vehicles. They also use helicopters for aerial reconnaissance and modified buses, vans, trucks, or other seemingly normal vehicles. They are prepared for and encounter just about every danger under the sun.
Urban Counter-Terrorism Special Forces Group (AFEUR) is Columbia’s elitist army unit specializing in counter-terrorist operations and hostage rescues. Their success is due to their strategy, which concerns stealth, the element of surprise and old-fashioned teamwork. They also act as bodyguards, protecting visiting dignitaries, including two US presidents (Bush and Clinton).
YAMAM is the acronym for Special Police Unit (Yeḥidat Mishtara Meyuḥedet), which is Israel’s civilian counter-terrorism unit. The primary duties of this elitist force consist of hostage-rescue operations, SWAT duties, police undercover assignments and offensive take-over raids against targets in civilian areas. YAMAM enjoys a good reputation among the Israeli public and among other special forces professionals.
Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) is a Canadian unit responsible for counter-terrorist operations and resolving any conflict that affects in any way Canada’s national interest. The force is divided into two categories; Special Operations Assaulters (SOA) involved in the tactical aspects and support, and Specialist Personnel (SP), which includes: staff officers and special operations coxswain (navigator) positions. Although JTF2 is not completely covert, its activities aren’t in the public eye either. It did appear on the Tom Clancy Rainbow Six video game series.
These special squads deserve recognition, appreciation and gratitude for the dangerous services they perform in the name of public safety.
Here’s to you, guys, wherever you are.
(Clink of glass!)
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