Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT)
In 1976 the Metropolitan Government formed a highly flexible mobile strike force to concentrate on police problems that might otherwise go unchecked in our community due to the limitations imposed on field personnel in supplying day-to-day services. This early concept became the foundation for the department’s Metro Unique Situation Team, known then as (MUST).
This team was placed under the direct control of the Metro Police Department’s Training Academy Director and its members were appointed from the training academy’s roll. In 1979 the team was renamed the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) and in 1983, its membership was opened to personnel throughout the department.
SWAT members are specialists selected, trained, and equipped to resolve high-risk tactical problems. SWAT personnel assist in the department’s response to unusual and high-risk tactical situations. The members have primary assignments from virtually all sections within the department and come together for training and operations. Their constant specialty training and flexibility are the key elements in keeping abreast of a rapidly changing society and the complex problems it generates. The team conducts well over one hundred and twenty-five SWAT related missions per year.
The team responds to several categories of tactical situations including:
- Barricaded person situations
- Sniper - counter sniper situations
- Hostage situations
- High-risk warrant service operations
- Protecting high value persons and property
- Search and rescue operations
- High-risk tactical surveillance and/or narcotics enforcement operations
- Tactical waterborne operations
- Covert and undercover tactical operations
- High-angle, elevated, and aviation operations
- Hazardous material, clandestine lab, and weapons of mass destruction situations
- Special circumstances such as crowd control and rural searches