Law Enforcement Specialties >> Special Units (K9, SWAT, etc.) >> SWAT Snipers

Rate

SWAT Snipers

4,189 Views
22 Replies Flag as inappropriate
Dsc05394_max50

35 posts

back to top

Posted almost 7 years ago

 

Wondering if there is any SWAT Snipers on the board. I plan on going into LE and plan on joining the SWAT team but was debating on being a Sniper. I was wondering what some of your opinions are, SWAT Sniper or a SWAT Member. And what kind of training you did to become prepared for the Sniper role and exactly what you do as a Sniper on a SWAT call out. Also what rifle(s) do you use?

Thanks in advance.

Matt
~MNEEME

Patton_max50

928 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

Here are some facts... You can apply for SWAT usualy after 2-5 years of Patrol duty, then you try out and if accepted you go through Basic SWAT school you probably (depending on the dept) will act on a entry team until once again you have proven your abilities, you will again try out for a position such as Sniper... be accepted and again start off as a spotter for a Sniper until a position is open. At some point you will go to Advanced SWAT School and Advanced Training.. the main weapon for SWAT "Snipers" is the 308 rifle.. most departments are to small to have dedicated snipers and there are usualy a couple folks picked for those positions based on time and service,, Sit... Wait and Talk is what normaly happens.. TV has over glamorized the job of SWAT in my opinion but there are some realy High Speed Teams through out the US.

Dsc05394_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

Thanks for the information. Anyone else want to voice there opinions?

I will agree with you that TV has over glamorized the role SWAT plays. And this is not my only reason to be on SWAT. I live in a fairly large county and I believe they have about 3 or so snipers on there SWAT team. I am only 20 y/o and have attended two Teen Academies, one by my county department, Prince William County, and then my state department, Virginia State Police. I enjoyed both of those experiences. I have also watched and slightly participated in an actual SWAT training exercise that lasted several hours. Once again Thank You SARspecialist.

-91 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

SARspecialist said:

Here are some facts... You can apply for SWAT usualy after 2-5 years of Patrol duty, then you try out and if accepted you go through Basic SWAT school you probably (depending on the dept) will act on a entry team until once again you have proven your abilities, you will again try out for a position such as Sniper... be accepted and again start off as a spotter for a Sniper until a position is open. At some point you will go to Advanced SWAT School and Advanced Training.. the main weapon for SWAT "Snipers" is the 308 rifle.. most departments are to small to have dedicated snipers and there are usualy a couple folks picked for those positions based on time and service,, Sit... Wait and Talk is what normaly happens.. TV has over glamorized the job of SWAT in my opinion but there are some realy High Speed Teams through out the US.

I agree with SAR.

Normally one does not jump right in to a "Precision Long Rifle" slot, and must be operational for a time before becoming eligible. It's a long road...

I would focus on becoming a certified officer first, then take everything in steps.

Swat34ol_max50

201 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

In order to be on my regional tactical unit, you need to be a full-time police officer of three years before you can apply. Once you go through the selection process, obstacle course and firearm qualification, then it is through S.W.A.T. 1 and S.W.A.T. 2 which allows you to be on the entry team and then after the FTO you may apply for sniper school. Now this is my preference.......I'm the type of member who wants to specialize in breaching. I like to break things...doors and windows. There are swat operators that like to reach out and touch someone that needs a little "love".

Dsc05394_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

Thanks all. I understand I am going to have to become a Police Officer first then a SWAT Officer/Operator and work my way through to become a sniper. I understand the reasoning behind it also.


GTS197: I completely understand not being able to jump right into that slot, as I mentioned above. I expect it to be a long road and for myself still have a long road ahead of me for now. I am focusing on becoming an Officer first. I am in college right now taking Criminal Justice courses to help better myself.


Cnhswat: I also like breaking things, which I know I'll enjoy breaching a house or other necessary location of entry, but I also think I would enjoy being a sniper. (I guess I really shouldn't say enjoy huh?) I'd imagine the sniper plays a key role, more then just "neutralizing a person" or providing "love" as you say, but also in providing location of suspects and also other important information.


Lots of great information! It is greatly appreciated. If anyone else wishes to chime in, feel free.


Thanks again,

Matt
~MNEEME

Photo_max50

1 post

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

I recently made the SWAT team on my department after a year and a half on. In my opinion I am the exception. I started off in the military as USAF Security Forces and while doing so was a member of my base's Emergency Response Team which is similar to a dept's SWAT team. My department's policy requires 3 years of LE experience before you can even try out for SWAT but military experience will suffice. I said all this to say build your resume first. You will have a very hard time going SWAT with little experience. If for some reason you dont get picked up by an agency think about the military. It will make it much easier for you to get on once you've got some experience under your belt.


"Some people were meant to dial 9-1-1, others were meant to be 9-1-1"

Photo_user_banned_big

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

LOL I agree with a lot of you! I would not mind being on SWAT but heres the thing, it takes a lot to be in SWAT. A lot of dedication and training, I agree with GTS, your first step would be to become a police officer first. I think it is great for you to want to be in SWAT. Usually the snipers, if you dont know, are the eyes. at least for a time being untill they get ground units into the area or building. because you have to remember, the negotiator and the captian dont have any idea or sight as to what is going on unless using a camera which may not be there ALL the time. So you have my support and good luck!

Picture_001_max50

30 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

Many departments vary in the amount of time you need to be on the job before you can even apply for SWAT. We have to complete probation first before we even think about it. After then it's 1 year before we can be on the "entry" team. Most don't even get by the obstacle course. It's a pass/fail test. You just have to show heart and complete it.

I have been Sniper Team Leader since 1999 and I put my sniper prospects through a tryout like no other. For the time they are on the enrty team they are being evaluated. There is much more that "lying behind the rifle, looking through a scope and pulling the trigger". (That's a quote from one of my administrators)

Best of luck to those who try out and if you you need any advice feel free to contact me. Any Sniper Team leaders out there that would like to share some information (qual courses, training, etc...) please contact me.

Mjolnir_max50

5 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

I have been used in that capacity for a few years, and its not all its cracked up to be. If you dont have good commmand (I do) you can be the forgotten step child that is laying out in the cold or the heat.

Dont_tread_on_me_max50

428 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

Sniping/sharpshooting is not for everyone. It takes a certain type of person to be able to look through a high power scope, be able to clearly see your target and realize that you may have to kill that person. It is one thing to return fire when you're being shot at, it is another to take that first shot. Also keep in mind that even in the heaviest of situations, a sniper may not shoot at all, they may just observe and report. I think the best thing for you right now would be to go out, buy a rifle, join the NRA and start competition shooting. You'll get all the trigger time you want and if in the future you do make it as a SWAT sniper, you'll have plenty of practice. Right now just focus on getting hired as a LEO first, then look at taking the next step.


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Img_0372_max50

11 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

Get used to watching paint dry, it'll pay off.

Remember_max50_max50

533 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

On LASD SEB you will start out as backup gas man.. move to gas man.. then spotter then long rifle,, by that time you will have been on the team for several years

then off to long rifle school(s)
USMC,, then SEBs long rifle basic and advanced schools

By the time you see a scope youll have been on for 10 plus years on the department minimum...

and thats the way it should be... every position has more responsibility

Avatar_max160_max160_max50

2600 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

I was the SWAT leader in my old dept., as said before, SWAT members are a special breed, SWAT snipers a VERY special breed. Good luck, you will need it.


Hello my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.

"It's not a constitutional violation for a police officer to be a jerk." Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy -December 4, 2000

Jpistol2a_max50

157 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

Frannycakes said:

Get used to watching paint dry, it'll pay off.

Absolutely correct. While my long gun responsibilities and duty positions certainly differ from those of a SWAT marksman, I can tell you that as a sniper, you will spend the most time and exert the most effort to do what you are there to do and you will see the least action in the process.

0 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 6 years ago

 

I agree with all.Most people see S.W.A.T. as very glamerious,it takes a lot of dedication (constantly training,being physically fit) from you and YOUR FAMILY.Many here will tell you of canceld plans,days off,ect. And as far as being a sniper, you may sit in a field/woods for hours upon hours(it may be hot as hell or cold as shit--been there done that) just observing,providing intel before the entry team ever goes in,plus you have to account for every round you shoot in practice( you may need it for court).It takes a very special person to do this.My dept. is small,so our members is not full time.I still work as a police officer (on shift) unless called out. Good luck.

-380 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 7 years ago

 

Jackson904 says ...


I recently made the SWAT team on my department after a year and a half on. In my opinion I am the exception. I started off in the military as USAF Security Forces and while doing so was a member of my base's Emergency Response Team which is similar to a dept's SWAT team. My department's policy requires 3 years of LE experience before you can even try out for SWAT but military experience will suffice. I said all this to say build your resume first. You will have a very hard time going SWAT with little experience. If for some reason you dont get picked up by an agency think about the military. It will make it much easier for you to get on once you've got some experience under your belt.

USAF SF has really come into its own in the last decade or so. They have proven themselves a VERY combat effective fighting force. Not only do their SRT units protect our USAF nuclear arsenal, but they are on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan doing combat logistics patrols, PSD missions, force protection, MiTT/IMBED teams,  and mounted combat patrols. I recently found out also that certain units or Airmen undergo advanced infantry training, and individuals can also be accepted to Army Ranger school.


Beyond that, Jackson's post shows you that not every agency is the same, and not everyone is judged the same. Someone who has already done the work for a different government agency is a damn good candidate. Alot of it depends on how long the FTO period is, some are a year, some are 6 months, some are as little as 6 weeks. 


Its important for many police officers to also remember, not every agency is set up like yours. There are both state and federal agencies that simply dont put an emphasis, or have at all, street patrol divisions. I know most city/county based LE agencies start you out in patrol, but many other agencies do not. State alcohol code enforcement cops, ICE, many constables (county) offices, and other agencies have divisions that stand alone, totally separate from any sort of patrol. I myself started in warrants, no patrol time at all.


Stranger things have happened gentlemen...


Also, the designation of "police sniper" is really a bit of a misnomer. Those who are used in that role really are more of tactical marksman or a sharpshooter rather than true sniper. True sniper training is about 20% actual shooting....much of a true snipers training and role consists of  recon (eyes and ears of the company level command), undetected movement, assembling various mission specific ghillie suits, stalking, infiltration, observation, target marking for air and artillery strikes, counter-sniping, and anti-material. A Police Sniper in much respect mirror what the Army and the Marines call a "Designated Marksman." The DM role is to be able to place accurate fire out to 800 meters (snipers are traied to engage targets up to 2000 meters), single or multiple shots..and to support his squad in a support by fire position. Wheras the sniper operates either alone, or in a two man team (sniper/observer) or a 3 man team (sniper/observer/security man armed with a light machine gun.)

Photo_user_blank_big

3 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

I have been a Longe rifle operator for my team over the past three years it is a long road and you are getting way ahead of yourself. It is great that you have goals but I would suggest working on getting into an LE job first, Then working your way into SWAT and checking out what the snipers role intales. we do not just point and shoot. The majority of the job is gathering intell and watching every one else have fun breaking stuff. It is a great job and very important but at a much slower pace than the entry guys...

Patch_max50

10 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 6 years ago

 

I worked for a small department and I think about three years in I moved in to the sniper position after one of the guys moved on to another department. I did my basic SWAT training with the FBI and then did my police sniper/observer training with the FBI. The sniper role is gathering information, watching, and gathering more information. It can be very boring, tedious work and requires a lot of time, meticulous recordkeeping and dedication.  I used a .308 Remington 700P rifle with a Leupold scope. From having served on the entry team, I much preferred being the first man through the door, there is nothing quite like going into the "unknown" and every entry is different.


Get on with a department, learn everything you can and start talking with the guys you work with that are on the SWAT team. Being a tactical officer is much harder than it looks on TV or the movies and if you aren't cutting it on the street, you'll never make it. If you can establish yourself as a hard working, well respected street officer, more opportunities will open up to you as you progress in your career.

Jeso_max50

105 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

Our local Sheriff's department has three snipers, each of which also trains on various other spots on S.W.A.T in case snipers aren't needed or they're short an entry team member, they can assist in the operations that don't require a sniper.


Training is the opposite of hoping

Koda_thanksgiving_max50

112 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

I know this is an old thread, but I work for Prince William as well, and If you are still interested in knowing what the requirements are for SWAT / SWAT Sniper, shoot me a message and I can point you in the right direction.  

-67 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

What I think is interesting is that most police departments I have come across do not have a SWAT team, most of what you see nowadays are departments with  SRT units with officers "on call", coming from other units...patrol, CID, narcotics, warrants...etc etc. What I am seeing more and more here in southeast Texas are agencies teaming up with other agencies in creating multi-jurisdicational response teams....good example is the cooperative team  called the Combined Area Response Team (CART), made up of Pearland PD, Alvin PD, Alvin ISD PD, and League City PD officers.


I think two county/city agencies in all of Harris County have full time SWAT teams...and one of them only deploys within the jails they run.  The other has MOU's with about 40 other police agencies in the Houston area to operate on their behalf in a scenario calling for special response.


What is really happening nowadays is that training, gear, armament that used to be associate with SWAT is now becoming standard for every officer. It wasnt that long ago that the non-SWAT officer was not training for Active Shooter Incidents, carried  a patrol/entry rifle, attended SWAT courses, etc etc....thats now standard for the major police departments in this area.