Tags: Law Enforcement | law enforcement | SWAT

What is SWAT-ing?

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Jun 2015 09:39 AM

A number of Philadelphia bank robberies triggered the formation in 1964 of one of the first U.S. police “Special Weapons and Tactics,” or SWAT, teams to fight crime using specialized military strategies and equipment.

The 100-man SWAT team was established to react "quickly and decisively" to bank robberies as they were in progress using officers with special training and top-notch firepower, said Tactical-Life magazine. The squad proved successful, which prompted other cities to form SWAT teams, and by the mid-1990s, more than 80 percent of all U.S. cities had such teams, said Slate Magazine.

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SWAT teams often respond when a gunman barricades himself in a building, and especially if there are hostages, Slate said. They also also help with crowd control, search for dangerous criminals, and execute search warrants.

SWAT team members train to use submachine guns, sniper rifles, and assault weapons, and may also have military-style weapons like concussion grenades and armored vehicles, Slate said.

Large city police departments often have full-time SWAT teams, according to PoliceEmployment.com. SWAT team members in smaller departments, which have less manpower and rarely deal with situations that require a SWAT response, typically work regular law enforcement positions, like patrol officers or detectives, and are on-call for the SWAT team as needed.

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To get on a SWAT team, an officer usually must have three years of police experience, and be able to pass tests that include obstacle courses, weapons skills and tactical knowledge, and sometimes taking a psychological exam, Slate reported. SWAT officers often receive a few hundred extra dollars monthly in hazard pay.

A rise in the number and use of SWAT teams in the U.S. has contributed to an increased militarization of law enforcement agencies, according to The National Drug Strategy Network. That website quoted criminologist Peter Kraska as saying that SWAT teams attract a different kind of officer who is less of a “social worker” and more of a “special operations soldier.”

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A number of Philadelphia bank robberies triggered the formation in 1964 of one of the first U.S. police "Special Weapons and Tactics," or SWAT, teams to fight crime using specialized military strategies and equipment.
law enforcement, SWAT
354
2015-39-17
Wednesday, 17 Jun 2015 09:39 AM
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