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SWAT—Not Sit, Wait, and Talk

SWAT—Not Sit, Wait, and Talk

Jeffrey J. Denning / SWAT Digest

On another note, you should know the capabilities of your SWAT team very well. Then you will use them with confidence. Don’t hesitate to use your tactical team. Too many police administrators mistake boldness for excessiveness. They incorrectly believe that the chances of an “incident” increases when SWAT is used. On the corollary, using SWAT on the relatively “small” incidents will create greater overall safety for all officers and, especially if the team doesn’t have a lot of experience, it will prepare them for the future colossal conundrums. SWAT officers who complain about doing the job should leave the team. The caveat, however, is to not abuse the recall system or the team. Don’t call SWAT in to direct traffic in a bad storm, literally or figuratively.

Finally boss, please stay out of our way and let us work. No Chief should serve as the lead negotiator or the SWAT commander. And no supervisor should ever keep his/her SWAT team in a “red light” status if the situation legally and tactically warrants action. Nothing bothers me more.


In sum, be flexible, but in control. You keep the tactical advantage by making the suspect(s) bend to your timetable. You don’t bend to his/hers.

I’ve had a long held theory that guys in special operations have a greater libido than the average person. With the higher level of testosterone that propels guys to do high-risk work, my theory seems awfully reasonable. Now, I hope I’m not being too tactless, irreligious or flippant by writing this, but considering my audience, and given the topic, in high-risk operations as in intimacy, there is wisdom in slowing down and taking your time. Hurrying is for beginners. As in love, when it comes to bullets, pain and possibly death, the late King of Rock and Roll would wisely remind us: “only fools rush in.”

Originally published at SWAT Digest.

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