Tactical OperationsTactical Operations
Tactical Operations unit is an elite team that are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers, including serving high-risk arrest warrants, explosive devices, hostage rescue, counter-terrorism, and engaging heavily-armed criminals. They are often equipped with specialized weapons including assault rifles, submachine guns, shotguns, stun grenades, and high-powered rifles for snipers. They also have specialized equipment including heavy body armor, entry tools, and armored vehicles. Throughout this paper we are going to give a general overview of these tactical teams.
Tactical teams were developed from a number of cases in law enforcement history that came to a head in the 1960’s. The Los Angeles police department realized it needed a team specializing in high risk situations. This realization came from an examination of the way in which the LAPD handled the Watts Riots which resulted in six days of over three thousand arrests. The LAPD and other police departments also needed a way to combat sniper attacks such as the sniper incident in Austin, Texas in 1966 in which the only people capable of returning long range fire were civilians armed with hunting rifles. An LAPD officer name John Nelson introduced the idea of a specialized police unit to an Inspector Daryl Gates. Gates built the original SWAT team with 15 four-man teams. Each of the men originally involved in SWAT were volunteers from patrol officers, and all had prior military experience. Other Tactical Operations teams developed from or to aid SWAT teams, such as negotiations and bomb squads.
The components of the Tactical Operations Divisions are SWAT, Negotiations, Bomb Squad, Dive Team, and K-9 Units. Each component has a special purpose but each is essential to the others. Having different teams for different needs allows each team to become more effective at their own roles.
The Structure of a SWAT team (HPD) consists of...