Police SWAT teams deal with what other police officers don’t want to. SWAT special weapons and tactics teams are specially trained to respond to some of the worst situations imaginable. Despite what you may see on shows like cops, most of a police officer’s day is relatively mundane. You are rarely put in direct danger, and you always have adequate backup. Police swat teams, by contrast, are only called upon when something really urgent is going on. A police SWAT team may be assigned to rescue a hostage, chase down a bank robber, or evacuate a building in case of an urgent biological threat. To be on a Police Department SWAT team, you need iron nerves and a little bit of denial.
I got into police SWAT about six years ago. I had been a police officer for about five, and was getting a little bit sick of routine traffic stops. I had a friend who was a police sniper, and although he eventually quit because of the stress, for the first couple years he really liked it. He told me that a police SWAT team was for me. I have always been good in situations where I have to make a split-second decision. I don’t like the long, slow, and drawn out negotiations involved in interceding in domestic disputes. I wanted a police SWAT situation where my objectives were clear.
When I first began my police SWAT training, however, I was almost positive that I had made a mistake. Training for police SWAT teams is rigorous. Police Department training in general is not that hard. Police jobs are actually much easier to get than they should be. You don’t need to be in particularly good health, don’t need to be very smart, and don’t even need to get all that much training.
Police academy is an easy course, and once you’re done with it, you are ready to join the force.
Police SWAT teams, by contrast, are basically an urban military force. You have to be in top physical condition, have extraordinary accuracy with a variety of weapons, and be able to subdue a suspect with physical force quickly and easily. When I began, although I was in good shape, I still wasn’t up for it. Police SWAT training really wrecked me. I would come home exhausted every night for the first week. I was just glad when it was all over and I could get to work!