Botswana Police Service has set up a special wing known as the hostage and suicide negotiators, based at the Special Support Group headquarters. The new department was set up after the much publicized kidnapping of businessman Satar Dada’s grandson a few years ago.
Similar incidents of high profile kidnappings were to follow.
Since its establishment, the wing has successfully resolved a number of hostage taking situations without any casualties.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the coordinator of the hostage and suicide negotiators unit, Assistant Commissioner Kgosiitsile Bosilong, said the police service found it fit to set up the wing after the kidnapping of Satar Dada’s grandchild a few years ago.
“Unfortunately the wing is made up of men only, but plans are underway to include women in the next intake,” he said.
The wing was set up in 2002 and officers were sent to South Africa for training.
The training has since been localized, and is now conducted at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Otse.
Some of the trained officers have been deployed to other police stations, but most of them are based in Gaborone.
Sometime last month the unit was called to a crime scene at the University of Botswana where they successfully negotiated with a man who had stabbed his girlfriend to death and was threatening to commit suicide by jumping from a roof top.
They also successfully negotiated with a man who was threatening to shoot himself with a gun in Francistown.
Bosilong assured the public that they are always available to negotiate in any situations.