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Special Weapons And Tactics: S.W.A.T.
Transcript of Special Weapons And Tactics: S.W.A.T.
Who you gonna call?
SWAT duties may include:
VIP protection details
Resolving high risk situations
Providing assistance on arrest warrants and search warrants
Providing additional security at special events
The relative infrequency of SWAT call-outs means these expensively trained and equipped officers cannot be left to sit around, waiting for an emergency. In many departments the officers are normally deployed to regular duties, but are available for SWAT calls via pagers, mobile phones, or radio transceivers. Even in the larger police agencies, such as the Los Angeles Police Department or the New York City Police Department, SWAT personnel would normally be seen in crime suppression roles—specialized and more dangerous than regular patrol, perhaps, but the officers would not be carrying their distinctive armor and weapons. Since officers have to be on call-out most of the day, they may be assigned to regular patrol duties. To decrease response times to situations that require a SWAT team, it is now a common practice to place SWAT equipment and weaponry in secured lockers in the trunks of specialized police cruisers.
Patches of the Original
Semi-automatic pistols are the most popular sidearms. Examples may include, but are not limited to:
M1911 pistol series(.45 cal)
Sig Sauer series (especially the Sig P226 and Sig P229)
Beretta 92 series
H&K USP series
5.7x28mm FN Five-seveN pistol
Common submachine guns:
9mm and 10mm Heckler & Koch MP5
Heckler & Koch UMP
5.7x28mm FN P90
Common shotguns used:
Remington 870 and 1100
Mossberg 500 and 590
Common carbines include:
Colt CAR-15 and M4 and Heckler & Koch G36 and HK416. The Colt M16A2 can be found used by marksmen or SWAT officers when a longer ranged weapon is needed.
Common sniper rifles: M14 rifle and the Remington 700P
SWAT units may also employ ARVs, (Armored Rescue Vehicle) for insertion, maneuvering, or during tactical operations
Helicopters may be used to provide aerial reconnaissance or even insertion via rappelling or fast-roping.
SWAT units may also use modified buses, vans, trucks, or other seemingly normal vehicles.
During the 1997 North Hollywood shootout, LAPD SWAT commandeered an armored cash-delivery truck, which they used to extract wounded civilians and officers from the raging battle scene.
Units such as the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Special Response Team (SRT) used a vehicle called a B.E.A.R., made by Lenco Engineering which is a very large armored vehicle with a ladder on top to make entry into the second and third floors of buildings.
Many SWAT teams in the states and around the world, including the LAPD, fit their armored and non-armored vehicles with the Patriot3 Liberator and 'MARS' (Mobile Adjustable Ramp System) Elevated Tactics Systems for gaining entry to 2nd- and 3rd-story buildings, airplane assault, sniper positioning, ship access, etc.
The Tulsa Police Department's SOT (Special Operations Team) uses an Alvis Saracen, a British-built armored personnel carrier. The Saracen was modified to accommodate the needs of the SOT. A Night Sun was mounted on top and a ram was mounted to the front. The Saracen has been used from warrant service to emergency response. It has enabled team members to move from one point to another safely.
The police departments of Killeen and Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. use the Cadillac Gage Ranger, as does the Florida Highway Patrol.
North Hollywood Shootout 1997
On the afternoon of May 17, 1974, elements of the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a group of heavily armed left-wing guerrillas, barricaded themselves in a residence on East 54th Street at Compton Avenue in Los Angeles. Coverage of the siege was broadcast to millions via television and radio and featured in the world press for days afterwards. SWAT teams engaged in a several hour gun battle with the SLA; no police were wounded, but the six SLA members died in the conflict, which ended when the house caught fire and burned to the ground.
These included riots such as the Watts Riots, which in the 1960s forced the LAPD and other police departments into tactical situations for which they were ill-prepared; the emergence of snipers as a challenge to civil order; political assassinations; and the threat of urban guerrilla warfare by militant groups. "The unpredictability of the sniper and his anticipation of normal police response increase the chances of death or injury to officers. To commit conventionally trained officers to a confrontation with a guerrilla-trained militant group would likely result in a high number of casualties among the officers and the escape of the guerrillas." To deal with these under conditions of urban violence, the LAPD formed SWAT, notes the report. The report states on page 109, "The purpose of SWAT is to provide protection, support, security, firepower, and rescue to police operations in high personal risk situations where specialized tactics are necessary to minimize casualties."
SWAT officers are selected from volunteers within their law-enforcement organization.
SWAT applicants undergo rigorous selection and training.
Applicants must pass stringent physical agility, written, oral, and psychological testing to ensure they are not only fit enough but also psychologically suited for tactical operations.
Some parent law-enforcement organizations of SWAT teams have also required their personnel to be veterans of the armed forces, but this is usually not considered strictly necessary for such personnel.
Other training that could be given to potential members includes:
training in explosives
handling K9 units
rappelling and roping techniques
the use of specialized weapons and equipment.
They may also be trained specifically in the handling and use of special ammunition such as:
flash bang grenades
tasers and the use of crowd control methods
and special non-lethal munitions.
Of primary importance is close-quarters defensive tactics training, as this will be the primary mission upon becoming a full-time SWAT officer.
Some sources state that the first use of "SWAT" as an acronym for "Special Weapons and Tactics" was the Special Weapons and Tactics Squad established by the Philadelphia Police Department in 1964.
A more prominent early SWAT team was established in the Los Angeles Police Department in 1967, by Inspector Daryl Gates. After that, many United States law enforcement organizations, especially the police departments of major cities, as well as federal and state agencies, established their own elite units under various names.