27 JanHow to become a SWAT team member?
SWAT is shortened from Special Weapons and Tactics teams and consists of volunteers from the police force that have highly developed skills in medical response, firearms and rescuing. If your aim is to become a SWAT team member, you have to be in accordance with the requirements and have specialized training. Being a SWAT team member is seen as an honor and a privilege. Continue reading to find out about the requirements you need to fulfill in order to be accepted in that highly selective group.
What are the training requirements for becoming a SWAT team member?
First of all, being a police officer and having complete knowledge of police procedures and policies are a must. You also have to be in an outstanding physical shape and you have to show that you have superior firearms skills. SWAT teams are the first to respond when there is a highly risky situation, such as bomb threats or keeping a hostage. Hence why, many SWAT members are employed at specialized positions, such as crisis negotiators, tactical emergency medical responders, snipers or grenadiers.
How can you become a police officer?
As stated before, in order to become a SWAT member you have to be a police officer first and therefore finish the police academy training. This can last from 12 to 14 weeks. During this time, you will cover courses, including state and federal law, civil rights, traffic control, local ordinances, accident investigation, emergency response, self- defense, patrol and firearms.
In most cases, you will have to have between one to three years of experience as a police officer before you can actually apply for a SWAT position. Working as a police officer will enable you to enhance your skills, such as shooting, better your physical condition and study tactical operations, which will help you fulfill the minimum standards requested by SWAT.
Applying for the SWAT team
After applying, you will undergo a selection process and take a few tests. Among these, a thorough physical test and a psychological assessment are included, and also a firearms test that shows your expertise in firearm handling and knowledge about the weapon’s mechanics. A review board may interview you and there is a possibility of an extensive background check.
After you have been chosen to be a part of the SWAT training process, you will have to go through numerous phases of the training, starting from basic to specialized and then to advanced. The SWAT training consists of learning how to make high-risk arrests, crowd and riot control, room clearing, small arms usage, sniping, obstacle courses, hostage negotiation and recovery, defense driving, and rappelling (or abseiling). Usually, after becoming a SWAT team member you have to continue training all the time, while you are a member of the team. All SWAT members have to be expert expert shooters and have a specialized position in the team. While some are medics or negotiators, others can have advanced skills in handling weapons etc.