Special Weapons and Tactics Team also called the SWAT was introduced in the year 1974 to control the ever-increasing violence in the country. The SWAT officers are paramilitary forces who are specially trained to handle situations that the police force is unable to. They are top-notch professionals who get trained in using advanced weapons, and also in problem-solving strategies.
When is the SWAT team called in?
The SWAT team is used in high-risk situations some of the examples where they are usually deployed are:
Hostage situation: They come in handy when the negotiations with the attacker fail. They have trained snipers who can kill the attacker and rescue the hostages.
A high-risk arrest: If the police need to arrest a criminal or someone who is well-armed with weapons, the SWAT team is called to do the arrest.
Transporting someone at high-risk: They are employed when the police need to transport a person who is a high risk of getting assassinated.
Barricade situation: There are situations when criminals hole up in buildings with powerful weapons and can harm the civilians or police, SWAT team can wipe them off using their advanced weaponry.
Thwart terrorist attacks: They are employed to overcome possible terrorist attacks based on Intel inputs.
A strife: It is called into action when there is a major strife involving a huge crowd.
The SWAT teams can be called by the law enforcement agencies of local, state or federal. A typical SWAT squad which works full-time consists of 1 sergeant and 3 officers who have to take the responsibility of maintaining the pieces of equipment, vehicles, and weapons and also conducting bi-weekly training sessions. The rest of the team which includes a lieutenant, officers and sergeants work in the police force full-time. Though each officer is specifically trained for a specialty, they are also cross-trained. Some of the specialties are
Snipers: They are responsible for protecting the public and their team by staying at vantage points collect information and relaying it back to the team in action. It is not easy to get into a sniper team as there is a tough test to check the abilities of the officers.
Chemical weapons: The SWAT team has chemical weapons like tear gas which are used based on the situation. It is used to ensure that the suspect is debilitated and not killed.
Explosive invasion: This team specializes in using explosive in a safe, precise and concise manner to achieve an objective of ending a dangerous situation.
Entry specialists: The team is a specialist in handling dangerous situations like in rescue operations or entering dangerous locations, etc.
Tactical medics: This team provides medical assistance in case of injuries during a SWAT assignment. They save the lives of their colleagues, suspect, and civilians who are injured during the operation.
Experienced police officers from various ranks are considered for the SWAT team based on their service record and fitness. It is a great honor to work in this team as it is a great testament to their experience and training.