The one question every SWAT team needs to ask


At the 2017 California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) Conference, Don Kester of the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) hosted a thought-provoking session on the challenges faced by tactical teams, and the lessons we should be learning from our mistakes.

Don suggested tactical teams need to ask, “Why are we at this call?”

In the current environment, SWAT is frequently called out for situations where it may be inappropriate to deploy, so every callout must begin with an assessment of whether SWAT intervention is justified.

For example, Don addressed the complicated issue of dealing with barricaded, suicidal subjects who have committed no criminal act, and are not a risk to anybody else. In these situations, intervention from a team of mental health and medical professionals may be more appropriate than deploying a SWAT team.

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