The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has trained the first batch of 20 officers who will form part of its (AIB’s) team in the event of an air accident.
Speaking at the AIB headquarters in Lagos during the training session, the agency’s general manager in charge of security and industry, Mr. Olumide Osineye, said the police personnel will be among the first responders to move to the accident site to give the investigative team the necessary support, especially in controlling evidence.
“The training of the police officers will further secure aircraft sites in case of an accident; it will create police’ awareness of the importance of securing crash sites.
“When an accident occurs, the wreckage is a very important entity and there are items of the aircraft that need to be preserved. Experience has shown that most of our police officers are just pulled from anywhere without any background or awareness of accident investigation.
“The danger is that when you are not aware, you will just do to the best of your limits, but when you are aware, you know the rudiments, you know the procedures and what should be avoided, protected and preserved.
“So, the main benefit is that this category of people will be able to control an accident site so that there will not be any tampering with the evidences or critical items like the Flight Data Recorder and voice data recorder and other relevant items that can help in investigation of an accident,” he said.
He assured that the exercise would be conducted quarterly while efforts would be made to ensure that majority of police officers in the country were trained.
In case of redeployment of trained police officer, Osineye said it would still be an added advantage to the industry as accident could occur anywhere within the country.
“Even when they are redeployed, it is still going to be value added because accident can occur anywhere at any location. So, the more we train, the more we add value and the more we increase the number of people who already have awareness. If it is possible to let all the police to have the awareness, that will be fantastic,” he added.
Eight police officers were trained from the airport command while 12 were drawn from Special Unit Base 2, Ikeja Police Command.
Osineye said the idea of training the police was the brainchild of the AIB commissioner, Mr. Akin Olateru who saw the need of giving the police adequate training to support its (AIB’s) accident investigation.