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Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.)

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S.W.A.T. teams are highly trained in paramilitary squads that operate within many urban police departments. S.W.A.T. teams carry out dangerous missions such as rescuing hostages, serving arrest warrants under fire, deterring terrorist attacks and subduing criminals who are armed beyond the capacity of regular police officers. Unlike the investigative branch of law enforcement, S.W.A.T. teams are focused on tactical solutions to safely resolve critical incidents. S.W.A.T. applicants are subject to a rigorous selection and training process that includes testing for physical fitness to ensure that the candidate is suited both physically and psychologically for the rigors and stress of high-risk operations. S.W.A.T. team members are selected from volunteers within the law enforcement agency in which they are employed, so the same degrees and training that enhance the career of a police officer will also increase one’s chances to become a S.W.A.T. team member. To be a S.W.A.T. team member, officers must undergo training in marksmanship, explosives handling, first aid, negotiation, roping techniques (such as repelling), as well as the use of specialized equipment and weapons.