What Does Swat Do All You Need To know
The importance of making defense stronger can be realized from the fact that almost all the countries of the world, apart from their military forces, federal institutions and police department, have invested in making special crime-fighting units SWAT. They have not only used their defense budget in creating a separate task force, but countries also have hand-picked and trained some of the toughest human beings.
There are many examples of special task forces from all over the world, but a standard that all of these task force’s management look up to is the standard set up by the US SWAT team. In many movies and TV shows, we have seen that the SWAT teams pay occasional visits to the bad guys. We have seen them ramp their way into a building and pointing their M4s to the heads of drug lords.
What does the SWAT do?
Nevertheless, the job of these specialized men is much more complicated than just wearing black tactical gear and breaking doors. A citizen should know all about their country’s defense forces to appreciate the sacrifices they make and keep track of where their tax money is being used. Therefore, in this article, we will look at what a SWAT team is and what SWAT does?
Whenever we hear or read about SWAT, the first question comes to mind: What does SWAT stand for?
SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics; law and reinforcement units specializing in different military tactics and using special military equipment.
So, what does SWAT do?
The primary purpose of the SWAT team is to neutralize the situations where public safety is endangered and handle the situations that got out of the hands of traditional law enforcement. Most often, they are deployed for search warrants that include suspects in narcotics. Swat teams are trained to use all kinds of military equipment to use against terrorism threats.
When was SWAT created?
Swat teams came into existence in the late 1960s due to several incidents in Los Angeles. Watts’s riot started in Los Angeles at that time, and during the riots, public and law enforcement units were targeted by snipers. At that time, traditional law units like police were unable to handle these critical situations that cause a lot of deaths of both civilians and police units. So, the LAPD (Los Angeles police department) should be a particular unit to handle such situations effectively.
A young officer in LAPD suggested to his superiors the idea of SWAT as special weapons and attacks with highly trained officers. This team should be called out for critical incidents. His superiors accepted the idea of SWAT, and they change it to special weapons and tactics and forwarded up it to a higher authority.
That is how SWAT came into existence, and at the start, they only recruited the veterans of the Korean and Vietnam war. There were only fifteen 4-man teams at that time, and they were given the confiscated weapons from criminals and delivery trucks for transportation. They were also known as special defense teams because their objectives were to secure the law and enforcement facilities during the riots.
In 1971, Swat teams were formally given the platoon D in the metropolitan department to act against the rebellious or dangerous criminal groups. The first-ever major operation conducted by SWAT was against the Black Panthers in December 1969. The operation continued for 4 hours that resulted in 4 police officers being injured and four criminals. The operation was the first big success for the SWAT teams, and they got popularity in public after that. By the end of 1974, Swat units were generally accepted as resources of LAPD.
War On Drugs
In the 1980s, The President of America, Richard Nixon, declared war on drugs. According to him, if the US cannot get rid of the drugs, it will kill the upcoming generations and be the end. The US. Senators passed legislation, and law and enforcement units were given military equipment and intelligence to fight against the drugs.
In the ’70s, SWAT launched only a few hundred operations against the drugs annually. In the ’80s, when the war on drugs started, this number elevated up to 3000 raids per year, and it kept on increasing. SWAT did the greatest number of operations in these two decades as in 1996, the number of raids per year was 30,000. According to “The Capital Times,” the Pentagon started giving enormous funds to SWAT units and around thousand military equipment, which resulted in an increased number of operations. According to the survey, the number of raids in the ’80s and ’90s increased ten times.
SWAT Weapons & Gear
SWAT team’s equipment and gear change from unit to unit, but the gear and equipment remain the same most of the time. They mostly use similar equipment as the military, but in some cases, they use different equipment specially designed for CQC or close-quarters combat in populated areas.
SWAT unit’s uniform is similar to the military tactical uniform in plain green color with camouflage print in it. Before that, they used to wear pure black or blue uniforms, but most police departments have changed it to green, and others are in transition.
Back then, SWAT units used to wear steel helmets that were surplus from World War II, but now they have improved a lot, and they use the standard helmet used by military personnel with the addition of balaclava. A face covering mask is used to protect the identity of personnel.
Ballistic vests are essential gears, and they use the standard vests with plates inserted inside them. For identification purposes, “SWAT” or “POLICE” is imprinted on these vests.
So, what guns do SWAT use? A variety of weapons are used by the SWAT teams, including assault rifles, Sniper rifles, shotguns, and submachine guns. Shotguns that are preferred and commonly used by the SWAT team are ‘Benelli M1’ that is automatic and ‘Remington 870’. In the category of submachine guns, ‘M4’ and ‘Colt Car-15’ are mostly used. For sidearms, semi-automatic pistols like Beretta 92, Glock are used. For tactical support, they use flashbangs, tear gas grenades, and sometimes stingers are also used.
How to join SWAT Team
After getting to know all the stuff about SWAT teams, everyone would want to become the SWAT officer so that they can serve their country well. So now let us discuss how do you become a SWAT member. To join the SWAT unit, one must know about what does SWAT officers do. As discussed earlier, SWAT teams are elite paramilitary troops deployed when the customary law and enforcement units cannot handle the situation. Not all SWAT teams are always taking care of the messy situation, so what do they do when not on call? They perform usual routine tasks like other police units.
The first thing to join the seat team is to be a police officer because most swat members are recruited within the police department. Only the medics can be recruited from outside the sheriff’s department. First, only US citizens can apply for the united states SWAT teams. Swat team education requirement is the minimum bachelor’s degree or holding school diploma. Applicants with prior military experience or the same are preferred. To become a swat officer, one needs to serve for two years in the sheriff’s department.
If you are eligible for swat teams, you will undergo tough physical assessments first, and then you will be called for an interview. Many theories are circulating regarding the SWAT team’s interview questions. However, the SWAT interview questions are straightforward one can think of; the only thing you have to do is answer them differently; for example, you will be asked why you want to join swat. So, to become SWAT, you will have to answer it patriotic way, unlike most people who say it is cool that is why they want to join in.
Swat team role is one of the most important things, so applicants should focus on those questions very well to get that role in an interview.
According to your role Assigned in SWAT teams, you will be going to SWAT academy, and there you will go through ‘swat officers training.’
Now that we have answered the question, how to become SWAT?
Let’s, focus on what does a swat team member does after joining SWAT? Like any other defense force, the recruits are first trained mentally and physically as per the team’s requirement. They are trained physically for armed combat and mentally for risking their lives each and every day on their job.
SWAT members go under a tough training routine, and just like military forces, the SWAT soldiers are under training throughout their service. According to the listed requirements and standards of the US justice department, the SWAT teams are recommended to spend 25% of their everyday duty time in training.
There are many drills a swat team member performs on a daily basis. Drills like climbing and rappelling are performed almost daily, whereas weapons handling, close-quarters battle (CQB), and movement drills take place occasionally as per the department’s budget.
One of the most stimulating training sessions is the session of close-quarters battle. CQB drills are performed in CQB houses, commonly known as kill houses or shoot houses. CQB houses are mostly made up of plywood, and paper targets are used to practice suspect hostage situations. To replicate a hazardous situation, there are many obstacles within a kill house, made from worn-out tires, barb wires, and wooden planks with nails coming out of them.
During the SWAT test of CQB, a swat team member can use paintball guns, dye marker ammunition, or live ammo. Not all SWAT test facilities have access to CQB houses, but drills like this are occasionally arranged in cooperation with other SWAT training facilities. After becoming SWAT, CQB is the best and most engaging drill one can perform to improve his tactic skills.
The purpose of an individual interested in pursuing his or her career in the field of SWAT should not be just about “to join SWAT team,” but he should focus on “being a part of this team.” No matter what the field is or what the job is, it is proven statistically that teamwork secures better results. The same is true for SWAT teams; actually, it is especially true for the SWAT teams.
Familiarizing yourself with the rest of the team is the best way to train yourself. Therefore, SWAT training holds team tasks to make all SWAT members familiar with each other’s moves, actions, body language, reactions, and voices. This training help members of a SWAT team act as an integrated force during real armed combat.
Unlike movies and TV series, SWAT teams perform many operations before breaking down a door and entering by force.
Although SWAT teams perform many drills and study many building structures, maps, and layouts during their training, most of the preparations are just theoretical in nature when the real action calls.
It might occur as a surprise to you, but instead of rampaging their way into the building, SWAT teams first try to negotiate with the suspect and end the crisis peacefully. According to the statistics, the first 30mins of any hostage situation are the most sensitive moments because the suspect is most anxious and is ready to act.
Therefore, the SWAT negotiators try to calm and slow things down because statistics state that the longer an incident lasts, the more likely it will end peacefully.
After arriving at the incident site, one of the initial jobs of the SWAT team is to draw a perimeter around the site and study all the routes surrounding that site. SWAT teams must study the building map to mark all the entrance and exit points. This study of structure helps them plan wisely and more strategically.
After the SWAT team has taken over the charge from the first responding team, one of the most important operations is to set up a command office. A command office setup must be placed near the incident site, or a SWAT team scan also uses trucks, trailers, and vans.
Gathering intelligence is the first role a SWAT team paly to clear the crisis. They gather information from the maps of the incident site through surveillance of the suspect. If a negotiator can talk to one of the hostages, they can also gather information like how many suspects are there or what are the suspects’ positions and whether they have harmed anyone or not?
During hostage negotiations, the SWAT team negotiators try to make deals with the suspect in exchange for hostage release. This helps save as many lives as possible if things go south.
Asking To Surrender
Asking for suspects or suspects to surrender is like a final offer a SWAT team makes before entering forcefully into the building. Negotiators make a deal like less jail time and promise the suspect’s security if he is willing to surrender. Sometimes, if much time has passed, then it is likely that an unprepared suspect will give in to the temptation and will surrender.
Planning And Executing The Assault
Forceful entrance and armed combat are the last cards in the deck of a SWAT team because this can end very badly for the hostages and SWAT team members. There is a lot of risk of hostage death in this operation, and therefore, this card is not played unless there are no other possibilities left to win.
Women In SWAT
Whether a female reader or not, at some point, you must be thinking that, like all the other professional fields out there, are women also joining the SWAT teams? Well, the answer is YES.
The women were allowed to join 1980s SWAT teams, mostly hostage negotiations and crisis teams.
Although, even after 20 plus years, the percentage of women on SWAT teams is significantly low, and the reason is simple, “there are no relaxations.” Yes, if a woman needs to make it to the SWAT team, then she must go through all the required tests that a male officer goes through. This is mainly the reason for the few women SWAT members. According to the statistics, most women who apply for SWAT teams fail physical tests, especially upper body strength tests.
So, in summary, there are no restrictions for a woman to join the SWAT team, but there are no favors delivered to them either when it comes to protecting innocent citizens. Therefore, the SWAT recruitment programs are not divided on a gender basis. The rules are the same for everyone, whether the person applying is a man or a woman.
How Much Do SWAT Team Members Make?
You might be wondering how much does swat makes a year. It is a well-paid Job because SWAT officer risks their lives for others, so the US government gives them a good salary and their minimum basic package starts from $60,000 a year and goes up with the rank and years of service.
We have read a lot of comic books, we have watched many superhero movies, and from time to time, we have closed our eyes and wished for superpowers. However, when it comes to sacrificing our lives for others, not all of us will comply, and those who will deserve to be called heroes.
SWAT teams and all the defense forces like it are full of such heroes, heroes who wear uniforms instead of capes, heroes who wear badges instead of masks, and heroes who, when leaving their house daily, never answer the question that, “when will they return home?” because they are not even sure if they will.
Therefore, we must appreciate the sacrifices of all the heroes who stand between us and the dark realities of this world because our appreciation is their reward.