Role of a SWAT Team
In a similar way to the military establishment having exclusive special forces trained to deal with special events, many countries have their police forces equipped with elite units which too take care of special events.
In the US the specialized police force is known as a SWAT team which is an acronym for special weapons and tactics. The first such team was put together in Los Angeles during the 1960’s as a highly trained rapid response team to handle emergencies.
The role of a SWAT team is to deal with situations for which the local police force is neither equipped nor trained to handle. The situations are normally well outside of the usual law enforcement role of the police officer. The SWAT team is commonly called upon to deal with hostage taking, the control of demonstrations which turn violent, and counter-terrorist activities.
The SWAT teams comprise regular police officers who have received special training, and have several years outstanding performance in the police force. Members of a SWAT team will receive specialized equipment such as body armor, special weaponry, and will receive training in the use of riot equipment and specific types of vehicles.
The SWAT team operates on a stand by basis, but is always ready to deal with any emergency as it arises. They are commonly asked to intervene in situations where a person is heavily armed and seen as a threat, to add to the security of important diplomatic or political events, and ensure public safety in other high risk environments.
Over the years since the 1960’, the SWAT team has become part of today’s culture, and is seen as a necessary addition to the normal role and duties of the regular police force.