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That sort of confirms a suspicion

People have mentioned to me before that the rise of the use of SWAT teams on low-level crimes was to 1) justify the existence of Little Town, USA even having on call ninjas in the first place and 2) to train the SWAT team with low-level and (presumably) low-risk entries. More evidence that is the case is advocating they practice on people:

Team commanders must raise the profile of their teams. Stay active. Yes, I mean do warrant service and drug raids even if you have to poach the work. First, your team needs the training time under true callout conditions. If all your team does is train, but seldom deploy, you will end up training just to train. You need to train to fight. You already know that.

Second, make SWAT familiar to senior police staff. Everyone fears the unknown. Don’t let SWAT be that unknown. Make deploying SWAT something that is routine, not something only done after much hand-wringing. “Oh, no! You mean we have to call SWAT? Oh, I don’t know, I just don’t know. Really? Call SWAT? Really?”

That’s all fine and good until someone gets killed. And that’s happening with increasing frequency these days. Not to mention all the dead dogs.

18 Responses to “That sort of confirms a suspicion”

  1. Blake Says:


  2. Davidhitewolf Says:

    The comments are good. Also, isn’t this the same Ed Sanow who did that “study” of hangun stopping power some years back? IIRC that was ridiculed too.

  3. John Smith. Says:

    Sounds accurate.

  4. LC Scotty Says:

    So if they make it routine will they change the name to RWAT?

  5. MHinGA Says:

    I’ve helped train a small rural sheriff’s department SWAT team (they called it their SRT: Special Response Team); my comments relate to that experience and being a single case may be considered anecdotal.

    Our emphasis was on advanced small arms and small-unit training, with an eye towards two major concerns: drug labs and potential active shooters in a school setting. While all of the SRT officers pulled regular duty, they carried extra “SWAT” gear/weapons in their personal vehicles and in their beat cars. There was no policy to use the SRT in any situation other than drug lab raids or active shooter, but of course watch commanders had the authority to call in SRT. In the few years that I was associated with training the SRT they were not used for lower threat scenarios nor was there any thought of utilizing the same for some sort of training value.

  6. LC Scotty Says:

    And it never occurs to these halfwits that if there’s not enough SWAT work to go around that perhaps we have too many gorramed SWAT teams.

  7. workinwifdakids Says:

    They’re not training cops. They’re training bullies with a gun and the legal cloak of infallibility.

  8. Mike M. Says:

    MHinGA raises an excellent point.

    Police departments obey the usual bureaucratic imperatives. One of which is to survive. A full-time SWAT team has to go door-kicking to justify their existence. A part-time SWAT team has other police work that pays the bills.

  9. alan Says:

    I think the whole SWAT thing is misguided. There are so few instances where something like that is useful, by their own admission. Seems there is a lot of Hollywood movie plot thinking and not much reality that goes into the creation of these things.

  10. wizardpc Says:

    Old joke: “You know why SWAT team are dressed in all black? Chicks dig it.”

  11. Firehand Says:

    As I recall, the original LA SWAT setup had the specially-trained officers keeping their gear in the car while on normal duty, and they’d be called if a nasty situation developed; the way the unit MHinGA was involved with worked.

  12. Bubblehead Les Says:

    On the Flip Side. way too many Depts are using the SWAT Teams for every “Shots Fired” call-out. Think of the Beat Cops “Setting up a Perimeter” and waiting for SWAT to come in, all the while Goblins are slaughtering Innocents. Columbine and Va. Tech come to mind. It got so bad up here, that last year there were Inter- P.D. Training Seminars among several local P.D.s to teach the Cops that, as “First Responders” they NEED to Respond, not sit on their Butts behind Cover.

  13. Jake Says:

    Think of the Beat Cops “Setting up a Perimeter” and waiting for SWAT to come in, all the while Goblins are slaughtering Innocents. Columbine and Va. Tech come to mind.

    At Virginia Tech that is not what happened.

    There were already cops inside when the press was filming the ones securing the perimeter. The ones inside were the first ones that got there.

    In fact, the two teams that were inside were made up of a mix of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech officers, some of whom were SWAT members and some of whom were not.

  14. Huck Says:

    “You need to train to fight”

    There lies the problem as I see it. LEOs dont exist to “fight”, they exist to enforce laws and serve the public. If those wannabe Rambos want to fight, let them enlist in the Army or the Corps.

  15. Robert Says:

    If a police dept has a SWAT team, it’s time to cut their budget by about 1/3.

  16. Lyle Says:

    Rule One; After an orginization is created for X reason, it’s primary role then becomes that of increasing its importance, its staff and its budget.

  17. wolfwalker Says:

    justify the existence of Little Town, USA even having on call ninjas in the first place

    Just out of curiosity, why call these guys ‘ninjas’? Personally, I think calling some of the thugs-in-uniform running around now ‘ninjas’ is an insult to honest ninjas. Call them something a little less flattering, like ‘moss-troopers.’

  18. MJM Says:

    I understand the need for SWAT. It would be a lot of fun and I might gravitate that way, if I were in law enforcement. However, it always threatens liberty to blur the lines between police and the army.
    Now, we see, we-the-people are training dummies.
    But, what does a government do when the clamoring culture cries out for collections of cops collaborating in close combat? As our shared, fundamentally good values break down, the Idiocracy rises up. Many will call for peace at any price as the riots break out, the crazies come out of the woodwork, and criminal gangs arm up.
    Homicidal shooter gonna set up at a soccer field on Saturday morning? You need more than a squad car arriving with 2 blue-colored officers, firing the forty.
    Crazy knifes the girlfriend and her momma, and barricades himself in the shack: I’d want some serious firepower backing me up.
    If the municipal forces don’t arm and train up, they and the head honcho will get roasted by the press and public.

    Having said that, disrespecting the citizen as a mere “call out” for a training opportunity, is one more big step toward the police state.
    The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated….”
    This article you posted about is very disturbing. Thanks for bringing it up.