The sword insignia of Finnish police
|Active||1972 – Present|
|Garrison/HQ||Helsinki Police Department|
|Nickname(s)||Karhukopla (literally Bear Gang. Karhukopla is the Finnish name of the Beagle Boys.)|
The Karhu Team (Karhu-ryhmä in Finnish, literally the bear team; Karhu-gruppen or Beredskapsenheten in Swedish), officially known as Helsingin poliisilaitoksen erityistoimintayksikkö (Special Operations Unit of the Helsinki police department) is a special operations and counter-terrorism unit of the Finnish police, equivalent to SWAT teams in the United States. Though it is part of the Helsinki police department, Karhu is a national special police unit that is used all around Finland. Karhu was formed after the Munich massacre in 1972 to provide security for the OSCE Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe that was held in Helsinki in 1975. According to law all counter-terrorist operations belong to the Police or the Finnish Border Guard – with Finnish Defence Forces not involved in CT during peace time.
The Karhu Team includes, in addition to leadership and training groups, direct action, technical, dog (K9), and explosive disposal groups. It can also be reinforced with a negotiation group for hostage situations.
The Karhu Team operates under the authority of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior and is headquartered in Helsinki. Its members are all volunteers and alternate between normal police work and SWAT duties. The group had a strength of about 90 police officers in 2008.
The team's weaponry consists almost entirely of standard Finnish police weapons. It uses the H&K MP5 as its primary submachinegun along with the H&K UMP, Sig 552 as assault rifles and the Remington 870 as shotgun. The only significant difference is the use of H&K USP as personal pistol. The sniper rifles used by the group are Sako TRG -series of rifles TRG-21 and TRG-42.
The colloquial name for the group is Karhukopla, i.e. Beagle Boys, after the Disney comics characters.
[edit | edit source]
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|