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
Two popular social movements in 2011—flash mobs and occupiers—placed a great strain on cities and their LE agencies. It wasn't long before both movements were infiltrated and hijacked by troublemakers bent on violence.
December 2, 2011
In the days following Officer Capoot's death, we learned more about the man. Jim was a dedicated, respected, and outstanding police officer, as well as a warmly generous human being.
November 28, 2011
Even though anarchists who use black-bloc tactics are relatively few in number, their strategy and tactics of wreaking havoc, chaos and mayhem provides them with the sensational news coverage they crave.
November 22, 2011
When a law enforcement agency calls for mutual aid help in northern California, arriving responders are usually on the same page, due to their participation in tactical training at Urban Shield.
November 21, 2011
When thinking about the Muskingum County tragedy, the natural question that needs to be asked is "could this happen again?" Most zoos have enclosures, fences, contingencies, and trained armed personnel to deal with this possibility. What about private animal farm that operate without oversight, regulations, or precautions?
November 9, 2011
Leadership starts at the top, and spreads throughout the entire Alameda County Sheriff's Office. This is the reason Urban Shield continues to offer the "best of the best" training for first responders.
October 31, 2011
Two of Northern California's most intense manhunts in decades ended in deadly gunfire, when sheriff's deputies shot and killed murder suspects in Mendocino County and Cupertino only five days apart.
October 21, 2011
The lingering bad economy continued to cause havoc on American law enforcement. Many law enforcement agencies have been forced to downsize dramatically, including laying off officers in unprecedented numbers. So-called "non-essential" services are being eliminated.
October 17, 2011
Every tactical team should realistically assess whether they're capable and ready to handle a challenging and sustained manhunt in difficult terrain. Even the most built-up urban cities have outdoor areas with large, rugged places for dangerous suspects to hide. If your team isn't ready, now is the time to get up to speed.
October 7, 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
To quell riots, London Met Police called in 16,000 officers. Police authorized plastic baton rounds, armored vehicles, and considered imposing a curfew. These are common U.S. police riot responses, but are practically unheard of in the U.K.
September 16, 2011
ARVs are one of the many specialized "tools" in the SWAT toolbox. As such, they're usually employed only for high-risk situations and community relations initiatives. The end result is that ARVs are employed very selectively and infrequently.
September 8, 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
Some would say violent flash mobs are unique to big cities. They would be wrong. Ask police from East Side suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. In recent years, Cleveland's once quiet, inner-ring suburbs have seen increased crime.
August 19, 2011