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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.

  • Monstermile_max50


    about 3 years ago


    Fantastic Article. Exactly what command staff should be reading

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    This article is not only very well written and on target............... I hope that I can put into affect the" patience" portion and be able to utilize it in my everyday affairs.My line of work couldn't be compared to law enforcement.Similar though, because I sometimes have to deal with scumbags and everybody could use more patience..........That's right I sell cars !!!!!!!!!!!! And who doesn't LOVE a car salesman? (-:

  • Puppy_max50


    about 4 years ago


    always a dream to be on the swat team

  • Images_5__max50


    about 4 years ago


    Great article!

  • Fa03_max50


    about 4 years ago


    love the article , plan ,execute ,

  • Cpusey-001_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Good article.

  • N1459748587_179762_1020_max50


    about 4 years ago


    Great Article! But a team bulding exercise such as PT every now and then can't hurt and proves to be great for team building.

  • 002_max50


    about 4 years ago


    wow, hate to say it but what are you smoking there Paralegal 54 ????? Nice story but back to the real world now: great article and I agree about reassesing and constant planning

  • Photo_00002_max50


    about 4 years ago


    I like the idea of constantly reviewing, revising, updating the plan. It helps to counter-act the unfortunate tendency of highly trained, specialized units to be tactical geniouses and strategic idiots. By being so specialized and overtrained in certain operational proceedures and tactics, they become complacent and don't bother to exercise some creative thinking. All in all -Excellant article. LTC Thomas FX Nugent

  • Iraqcampaignmedal-ribbon_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Paralegal54. I don't know what you have been watching on tv or reading in the media but we don't get dressed on the front lawn of the house we are fixing to hit. As a SWAT officer of more than 12 years, when we pull up in front of your house, our blue lights are not on, we are fully dressed and you're not going to know we are there until your front door caves in. As far as "SWAT almost got the right house" comment, we don't pick where we make entries. We are told where to go to make the entry. That one is not our choice or decision. You obviously have no idea how we operate or even what our job entails. And finally, NO, SWAT doesn't ask questions. Our job is to make entry and secure the scene and everyone in it. Once that is done, the narcs or investigators can ask the questions. Remember, knowledge is power.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    paralegal54 wake up and turn the swat movies off. Its time to come back to earth

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Good article........

  • 1287065658575_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great article, thank you.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 4 years ago


    A well written article with lots of good advice.

  • Swat_teaser_fin_sm001_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Good article.. dont really know why paralegal54 mentioned that confusing story buuuuuuut....ok!

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