Skip to main content
3 answers
4
Updated 525 views

what did you wish you knew before going into SWAT

#government #law-enforcement #criminal-justice #career

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

4

3 answers


0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Brad’s Answer

Great question. I wish I'd known the physical and mental wear my body and mind would take. By the time I made the team I had been on the street about 15 years, I was already an accident reconstructionist (AR). Being an AR meant working on those accidents with deaths or serious bodily injury as a result of possible implications of criminal intent. A completely different mindset.
Being on the ERT (Emergency Response team) required extensive training , in order to perform a mission with your eyes closed. Mentally, the "shoot, don't shoot" is raised to an almost Indy 500 speed, compared to the normal street patrol.
Physically, I can't complain a whole lot, who doesn't want to be in shape? However, be prepared for more bruises, aches and pains in one mission, then some people get in their entire life. From breaking down doors to wading in waist high water for almost a mile (so the suspect does not know we're coming). You will hurt but, it will be a good hurt.
I hope this helped Joel. Good luck and God bless.
Captain Brad Burnell
Asecension/St Vincent Police Department Indianapolis, Indiana
Hendricks County Sheriff's Department /Retired
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Mark’s Answer

Great question. I was lucky enough to work from two perspectives of a SWAT Team member. I first served on the SWAT team as a sniper and then later in my career I became a Crisis Negotiator. I wish I knew how critical communication is when I first started. There are so many aspects of a SWAT operation that are occurring at once. To give you an example, take a hostage situation. You have the Swat team taking position and devising a plan to enter, breach, position safely, save lives, etc. While that's going on the negotiating team is trying to make contact with the subject, gain trust and devise a plan to get that subject to surrender w/out losing any lives ,also while working with the team while trying to keep superiors updated on progrees while also communicating with the head of the Swat team. In turn the Swat Commander is relaying information to his team and his snipers. One mistake in communication, one misinterpretation can cause a catastrophic error that could cost multiple lives. That's why trainng and practice is so important. And we did it often. Training is so important when it comes to Swat and Crisis Negotiations.

So I would say, I was initially in awe of how important good, smooth communications was needed when it comes to the Swat Team.

Hope this was helpful and answered your question.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Mark’s Answer

I’m sure that most SWAT members that you asked that question too would tell you that they wished they knew more about certain aspects of SWAT such as the commitment to the Team, the physical fitness component and the competency regarding the variety of firearms that SWAT members must utilize during their time in SWAT. Before I went to SWAT, I had a pretty good idea that there was a greatly enhanced focus on physical fitness and overall firearms proficiency and I had no issue with either of these components of SWAT. I was already in pretty good shape and I was always in the top percentile of firearms qualification for my agency. What I did wish I knew more about before I started in SWAT was the incredible commitment that was expected of me regarding the team. Every SWAT member is expected to take on an enhanced leadership role and every SWAT member was expected to establish their expertise in at least one area of SWAT, such as high risk vehicle stop, dynamic entry, hot zone rescue and instruct and train other members of the team and, in some cases, train other SWAT members from other police agencies in their area of expertise. SWAT is a total commitment and those that enter into the commitment will find their labor and sacrifice well worth their great efforts.
Good luck sir! I wish you all the best!

Mark Sawa
Retired Major Travis County Sheriffs Office
Austin, Texas.
0