SWAT Team Selection Process
To be a Metropolitan Nashville Police SWAT Team member the applicant must meet very strict police standards. SWAT members must be MNPD officers for three years before applying to the team as described on the Metro Nashville Police recruiting page. They must demonstrate that they have high academic, physical, and shooting skills to even be considered for the SWAT Selection and Training process. An outline of the process is as follows:
- Phase I: Basic Skills Pre-entrance Testing (8 hours)
- Phase II: Basic SWAT Training (50 hours): Applicants who have met the minimum pre-entrance standards may be selected to attend the MNPD Basic SWAT Selection and Training School. The applicants will receive their initial SWAT training and may be graded in the following areas: handgun skills, shotgun skills, physical skills, obstacle courses, SWAT performance evaluations, and written examinations. This training is designed to develop the applicants’ individual skills and proper mind set. The training focuses on individual skills but begins the team building process.
- Phase III: Psychological “Fit for SWAT Duty” Testing (8 hours)
- Phase IV: Advanced SWAT Training (50 hours): Applicants who have met the minimum basic training standards and benchmarks may be selected to attend the MNPD Advanced SWAT Selection and Training School. The applicants will receive their advanced SWAT training and may be graded in the following areas: handgun skills, tactical skills, room entry skills, team movement, obstacle courses, and SWAT performance evaluations. This training is designed to develop the applicants’ individual skills while in a team environment. The training focuses on the efficiency, effectiveness, and safety of operating as a team. The training introduces the applicants to small unit tactics.
- Phase V: Tactical Rifle Training (24 hours): Applicants who have met the minimum basic training standards, advanced training standards, and benchmarks may be selected to attend the SWAT Tactical Rifle Training School. This course introduces the applicants to the proper use of the Colt M-4 rifle. The training will be conducted utilizing iron sights, Aimpoint optics, and PVS-14 night vision devices.
- Phase VI: Specialty Training: Upon completion of the initial selection, training, and appointment process, specialty training will be conducted until the new members have completed the required level of proficiency in all areas. This is an on going process but generally is completed within the applicants’ first twelve months after appointment to the SWAT Team. These areas include defensive tactics, Hazmat technician, basic tactical medical, land navigation with a compass, land navigation with a GPS unit, night vision training, waterborne operations, aviation operations, fast rope training, high-angle rescue operations, mechanical breaching, explosive breaching, specialty weapons, less lethal options, advanced shoot house training, tactical operation planning, marksmen rifle training, and covert operations training.