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SWAT duties
Organization
Training
SWAT equipment
SWAT in Popular Culture
Controversies
SWAT and other units in the
United States
Similar units outside the United States
See also
References
External links
Everybody has heard about SWAT.  
Nearly every police department in the
United States has some variation of a
SWAT team.  While large police
departments have the staff to maintain
full time SWAT teams, even small
departments usually have officers who
are trained and equipped to come
together on short notice to perform high
risk entries or other duties now
associated with SWAT teams.  All SWAT
teams don't go by the same name.  For
instance, when Baltimore formed its first
unit, it was designated QRT for Quick
Response Team.

Police Department SWAT teams didn't
appear overnight, and the formation of
these units initially faced a lot of political
hurdles simply because of their
appearance and purpose.  The threat of
terrorism has revived the criticism
referring to the militarization of police
departments using SWAT teams as the
visual verification of that criticism.  These
critics simply don't understand the
organization of American police
departments, nor the purposes for those
police officers trained in special weapons
and tactics.
History
When I became a police officer in
Baltimore in 1971, the real SWAT was
still in Los Angeles, and the other SWAT
was a television show (1975-1976).  
While the television show didn't last,
because it was too violent for its time,
the real SWAT fortunately did go on the
road, and it became a hit across the
country.

In the past, even before bullet proof
vests and high ammunition capacity
handguns, patrol officers had the total
responsibility for dealing with situations
that are now routinely handled by SWAT
teams.  We did have the 12 gauge
shotgun, and the sound of a round being
racked into a Remington 12 gauge pump
did have an incredible psychological effect
on a bad guy...but, I digress.

The biggest difference between police and
the military is their view regarding
casualties.  The military conducts their
operations while trying to achieve the
lowest level of casualties.  A police
department conducts it business with a
zero tolerance for casualties.  While that
zero tolerance cannot always be
achieved, the best way to try is through
training, discipline, and teamwork.  The
SWAT team is a good thing, and you'll
come to respect and appreciate its
existence.
SWAT
Special Weapons & Tactics
"Police Department SWAT teams
didn't appear overnight, and the
formation of these units initially faced
a lot of political hurdles simply
because of their appearance and
purpose." ~ Barry M. Baker
Copyright © 2017  Barry M. Baker  
CareerPoliceOfficer.com
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