Every law enforcement agency at one time or another will be faced with an emergency or critical incident with greater risk and a higher potential for the loss of life. Such incidents may involve confrontations with armed, barricaded suspects, the rescue of hostages or injured people, snipers, riots, crowd control and dignitary protection. The methods, techniques and equipment used to resolve these situations may determine the outcome of a life or death situation.
These situations can expose law enforcement personnel to an abnormal amount of risk and personal danger. To minimize the risk and deal most effectively with these situations requires planning, special weapons, tactics and highly trained personnel. The result is the formation of a group of carefully selected officers trained with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).
Recognizing that the presence of a highly trained, highly skilled tactical unit has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of injury or loss of life to citizens, police officers and suspects; and recognizing that a well managed "team" response to critical incidents usually results in successful resolution of critical incidents.