The Commander of the Special Police Unit (SPU) at the Federal Police Administration, Dragan Vikić, says that the creation of professional police negotiating teams is being considered in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These teams would solve possible hostage and terrorism-related situations, but they yet have to become a practice.
Vikić has recently met the members of Atlantic Initiative BiH and the postgraduate students of the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo, Department of Security and Peace Studies, which take the class “Terrorism in Modern World”, lectured by docent Dr. Vlado Azinović. The goal was to provide some additional information and education on the fight against terrorism in BiH and SPU activities.
„Negotiating is the least painful, best way of solving problems, not just those assigned to SPU, but in general as well. However, we currently do not have professional negotiating teams which would be engaged in cases of criminal activities, such as hostage situations. For now, there are inspectors in the Federal Police Administration who are in charge of such cases if the need be,” said Vikić.
The Special Police Unit is trained and equipped to take an independent action in all weather conditions, different surroundings, various areas and urban places, for fight against all types of crime, in situations when the use of basic anti-crime forces is not sufficient or reliable in terms of security and criminology.
„In hostage situations, the police make no hotheaded moves. SPU has both capacities and experience, so hostage situations do not represent a problem for us. In addition, SPU has technical and material resources to solve the problem quickly, but always looks for and analyzes other ways to solve a situation, first with “softer” ways and methods. A raid is the last resort, when everything else does not work,” states Vikić.
Commander Vikić with dr Vlado Azinović, Secretary General of the Atlantic Initiative.
„SPU provides support to the Crime Police Sector in cases of detention of persons suspected of terrorism, terrorist groups, runaway convicted terrorists, or other dangerous runaway convicts. The Unit performs hostage rescue missions and arrests the kidnappers, as well as any other individual suspected of criminal activities under the jurisdiction of the Federal Police Administration. SPU helps cantonal ministries of internal affairs, if needed, upon an approval Director of Police Administration,” says Commander Vikić.
In addition, there are diving and rock climbing teams within the SPU organizational structure. These teams are used when civilians find themselves in life-threatening situations.
Text and Photo: Aner ZUKOVIĆ