SIAS – an elite police unit

SIAS members
A members of SIAS (Photo: Romania Police)

The Independent Unit for Special Interventions and Actions (SIAS – Serviciul Independent de Interventii si Actiuni Speciale) is the SWAT unit of Romanian police. SIAS began its activity in 1995 within the Brigade of Countering Organized Crime of Romanian police. They are highly trained individuals who work as a team. The SIAS is abbr. for Serviciul Independent de Interventii si Actiuni Speciale.

It exercises its duties according to the laws in force regarding life, corporal integrity and individuals’ liberties protection, carrying out technical and pyrotechnical controls, which can’t be done by regular police forces.

SIAS special police unit from Romania
A member of SIAS brandishing his weapon (Photo: Romania Police)

Organization and main responsibilities

SIAS unit has two components:

  • The Department for Special Interventions and Actions.
  • Pyrotechnic Department.

The main duty of the Department for Special Interventions and Actions is the intervention through specific methods and proceedings for catching very dangerous criminals or armed with firearms, freeing hostages, kidnaped or sequestered persons. They are highly trained for these tasks. Their members pass special training with tactics, firearms for executing these actions against organized crime. Like all other SWAT teams, they are trained to use a variety of weapons, including pistols, sub-machine guns, shotguns. They also use specialized equipment like a tool for breaching doors, explosive charges for demolition.

Training of  SIAS members

The SIAS unit incorporates the best combatants from all the Romania’s rapid intervention formations (DIAS) and is composed of 3 detachments, 30 men each, both located in Bucharest. The SIAS is composed of members who are hand-picked for their performances. Athletes, world champions, and experienced psychologists were wrapped together to form this service.

Most of the time, SIAS members use live ammunition in their training sessions, a rough reminder of their deadly trade. No mistakes are allowed, whether in training or in a real mission.

SIAS members shooting at the shooting range
Romania’s SIAS operator during shooting practice (Photo: Romanian Police)

SIAS members train on a daily base. They have to. Six hours at the gym would seem exaggerated even to a performance athlete, however, it is a must for any SIAS member. Bodybuilding training is followed by long runs, hand-to-hand combat, rappeling from and into buildings or from helicopters, as well as daily shooting sessions with all the weapons in their arsenal.

Pyrotechnic Department of SIAS

The main duty of the SIAS Pyrotechnic Department is the intervention through specific methods and proceedings for preventing and countering crimes consisting of placing improvised explosive devices or trap vehicles in public or private places. It also identifies, neutralizes and destroys through specific proceedings improvised explosive devices and classic ammunition elements discovered in public or private places.

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