Tags: Law Enforcement | law enforcement | SWAT | disbanded

5 Municipalities that Disbanded SWAT Teams

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Jun 2015 10:14 AM

Questionable shootings, a lack of money, and even an incident involving Hooters waitresses have triggered decisions by U.S. cities to disband their police SWAT teams.

Here are five municipalities that made that move:

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1. Hoboken, New Jersey
Hoboken disbanded its SWAT team in 2007 after photos surfaced of some of its members horsing around with waitresses at an Alabama Hooters, even letting them hold their weapons, during a 2006 Hurricane Katrina relief mission, reported the Jersey Journal. The department also assigned to desk duty the unit’s commander, who was featured prominently in the racy photos wearing a napkin over his head meant to look like a Ku Klux Klan hood. That commander became part of a federal lawsuit filed by five Hispanic officers who accused him of "an unabashed white supremacist," the newspaper said.

2. Framingham, Massaschusetts
The city’s outgoing police chief disbanded its SWAT team in 2013, just over two years after an accidental fatal shooting during a raid, said The MetroWest Daily News. Citing the fact that the SWAT team leader was also leaving the department for another job, the outgoing chief said the remaining officers lacked the training needed to lead the team. The Daily News said a SWAT team member in 2011 accidentally shot and killed a 68-year-old man who was lying on the ground, when the officer lost his balance, tripped, and fired his gun during a raid in which police were arresting the man’s stepson.

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3. Eureka, California
The city in 2007 disbanded its SWAT team after its members the previous year fatally shot a woman armed with a flare gun, Police Magazine reported. The team had been involved in a standoff with the 48-year-old when they entered her apartment, she confronted them with the flare gun, and they shot her multiple times, said The Northcoast Journal. A prosecutor filed felony manslaughter charges against the chief of police and the supervisor who ordered the SWAT officers to enter, Police Magazine said. A judge ultimately threw out those charges in 2008, said the Times-Standard News.

4. Easton, Pennsylvania
Easton’s mayor disbanded its SWAT team in July 2005 a several lawsuits, including one that cost the city $2.5 million from police brutality settlement, said the Lehigh Valley Express-Times. The city reactivated the unit in December 2010, that website said.

5. Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Pawtucket’s special response team was disbanded after 2011 when the federal funding supporting the team was ended, and the city faced a projected budget deficit of about $12.9 million, the Providence Journal reported. Afterwards, the city used the state police SWAT team.

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Questionable shootings, a lack of money, and even an incident involving Hooters waitresses have triggered decisions by U.S. cities to disband their police SWAT teams.
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2015-14-17
Wednesday, 17 Jun 2015 10:14 AM
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