As 2011 comes to a close, this would be a good time to reflect on SWAT's past, present and future (apologies to Charles Dickens). While we can't accurately predict the future, we can trace the evolution of tactical units from yesteryear, understand today's challenged, and perhaps glimpse tomorrow's trend.
December 15, 2011
Sports violence has even been identified by some as a medical disorder called Intermittent Explosive Disorder—"the other IED." It may be fueled by unusually high amounts of testosterone and caused by "idiots acting like fools."
September 22, 2011
Just when we might think all the innovative SWAT tactics have already been tried, a SWAT team comes up with an imaginative, simple and exceptionally effective tactic. It comes under the heading of "why didn't someone else think of this before?"
August 26, 2011
The Pima County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Department's May 5 SWAT raid resulted in the death of a Marine at home in front of his family. This tragedy has exploded into one of the most criticized, controversial SWAT incidents in memory.
June 17, 2011
The Osama bin Laden raid ranks among the most significant raids in modern military history. History is replete with similar military raids — some have been successful, others less so — that reinforce the reality that the vast majority of such operations are rarely ever known outside a circle of the select few on a need-to-know basis.
May 27, 2011
Operational friendly fire erupts suddenly without warning, and once bullets start flying, it's too late. In the old days, before we were trained with "finger OFF the trigger" unless you're shooting, virtually all LEOs had their finger ON the trigger when they had their guns out.
May 20, 2011
He responded "as is" in his gym shorts. Yet there was absolutely no question in anyone's mind that he was "SWAT." That's because he had the presence of mind to don his tactical vest and helmet, which made him instantly recognizable as SWAT.
April 26, 2011
The murders of Florida officers with the Miami-Dade Police Department and St. Petersburg Police Department rocked their communities, as well as all of law enforcement. In both instances, officers entered buildings to search for suspects without calling for backup from tactical units.
February 25, 2011
POLICE SWAT expert and retired LEO Bob O'Brien tells you seven tales from his experiences to teach about the danger of missing a hidden suspect during a search.
February 2, 2011
Tunnel rats during the Vietnam War invented and perfected the most effective tunnel tactics and techniques. In law enforcement, you need the right person with the right mindset, training, equipment, weaponry, and lots of experience to be effective.
January 7, 2011
It takes a special officer to willingly, capably, and effectively search confined spaces for suspects. During the Vietnam War, "tunnel rats" were employed to search the often elaborate, always extremely hazardous NVA/VC tunnel systems.
December 22, 2010
I'd say every SWAT team trains extensively on suspect searches with special emphasis on the terrain they're dealing with. Regardless of terrain type, every SWAT team must be adept at searching buildings and outdoor terrain.
December 13, 2010
Sacramento County Sheriff's SWAT was called out to what turned into a 56-hour standoff—the longest in Sacramento history—at an 82-unit apartment complex. The suspect shot at SWAT officers, a robot, and the Armored Rescue Vehicle (ARV) on at least eight occasions.
June 14, 2010
Each scenario designed to test officers' tactical skills and teamwork to the limit was scored and timed, with points deducted for mistakes. Exercise #1,SWAT Fitness Assessment, tested the mettle of even those in "Super SWAT Shape."
November 23, 2009
Training for the "unthinkable" is what Urban Shield is all about because the "unthinkable" can, and does, happen. And like lightning in a thunderstorm, you never know where or when the next strike will occur.
November 19, 2009