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Ghosts of SWAT Past, Present, and Future

Ghosts of SWAT Past, Present, and Future

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

Is Time On Your Side?

With active shooters, and snipers before them, time is on the bad guys' side, not ours. With lives on the line, every second counts. This lesson about time wasn't fully learned until the deadly Columbine High School attack.

June 9, 2009

Tactical Operations Training at TREXPO West

For two days I found myself totally immersed in tactical operations, and emerged with newfound tactical knowledge learned from the “best.” I’ve been in the SWAT business in various capacities for many years, yet continue to have a thirst for tactical knowledge that will never be quenched.

April 29, 2009

Survival Lessons from Oakland and Pittsburgh

The lesson all of us must learn from the Oakland and Pittsburgh tragedies is to honor our fallen brothers in blue by doing whatever it takes to not only survive, or even to win, but to prevail.

April 15, 2009

What Does Mumbai Mean for Us? (Part 1 of 2)

The Mumbai terror attack was a basic raid. It was a version of the same highly effective tactics employed by most SWAT teams, especially for multiple, simultaneous raids and searches. It was a testament to the devastating and deadly effects of stealth, surprise, shock, and speed.

December 9, 2008

Another School Year, Another School Shooting

With the school year barely begun, there has already been another school shooting to report. This time, at South High School in Willoughby, Ohio. Fortunately, this time, no one was shot. However, the close call sent shockwaves of fear throughout this suburban Cleveland community.

September 12, 2008

Active Shooters and SWAT

In Columbine’s wake, the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) developed the rapid deployment first-responder team tactic currently in use throughout the nation. But in many, if not most, departments, officers from the SWAT team conduct the active shooter training program.

June 11, 2008

Active Shooter Response Revisited: Part 1

After Columbine, American law enforcement was forced to take a long, hard look at active shooter response. Now a new report challenges our current thinking on response to such incidents.

May 28, 2008

Take Action in Active Shooter Response

The active shooter phenomenon has a certain "copycat" quality to it — a deadly game won by causing the highest body count in the shortest amount of time before police can stop them.

February 28, 2008

Lessons from Virginia Tech

"When you aren't practicing somewhere someone is and, when you meet him, he will win." This thought-provoking saying was passed along to me many years ago by Terry Thorpe, a warrior friend who lost his courageous final battle with Agent Orange.

May 30, 2007