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Tactical 1911: The Street Cop's And SWAT Operator's Guide To Employment And Maintenance
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Comments and reviews What are comments? The money resulted in the creation of many narcotics task forces, and SWAT teams became an important part of these forces.
In , paramilitary police units launched a few hundred drug raids annually within the United States. In the early s, SWAT drug raid numbers increased to annually, and by , 30, raids annually.
The paper reported that the military transferred nearly , pieces of military equipment to Wisconsin police departments in the s. Criminal justice professors Peter Kraska and Victor Kappeler, in their study Militarizing American Police: The Rise and Normalization of Paramilitary Units , surveyed police departments nationwide and found that their deployment of paramilitary units had grown tenfold between the early s and late s.
As the shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold , were shooting, officers did not intervene in the shooting, but instead set a perimeter as they were trained to do. By the time they did enter the school, 13 people were already killed and Harris and Klebold had committed suicide. The idea was to train and equip street officers to make a rapid response to so-called active shooter situations.
In these situations, it was no longer acceptable to simply set up a perimeter and wait for SWAT.
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As an example, in the policy and procedure manual of the Minneapolis Police Department , it is stated, "MPD personnel shall remain cognizant of the fact that in many active shooter incidents, innocent lives are lost within the first few minutes of the incident.
In some situations, this dictates the need to rapidly assess the situation and act quickly in order to save lives. Banks writes that SWAT team employment of military veterans has influenced their tactics and perspective. Den Heyer also argues that while SWAT teams continue to be deployed to executing large numbers of drug warrants, this is a rational use of available police resources.
By , the number of yearly SWAT deployments in the United States had increased to 50,,  : —4  : 13—14 most often to serve drug-related warrants in private homes. Officers have cited safety as the main reason for use of SWAT teams, stating that SWAT units would frequently be called if there were a possibility a suspect might be armed. For instance in , only two police officers were killed in the arrest of 2 million drug suspects, a low casualty rate possibly stemming from the military equipment and tactics used in the raids.
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The relative infrequency of SWAT call-outs means these expensively trained and equipped officers cannot be left to sit around, waiting for an emergency. In many departments the officers are normally deployed to regular duties, but are available for SWAT calls via pagers, mobile phones, or radio transceivers. Even in larger police agencies, such as the LAPD or the NYPD , SWAT personnel will normally be seen in crime suppression roles—specialized and more dangerous than regular patrol, perhaps, but the officers would not be carrying their distinctive armor and weapons. Since officers have to be on call-out most of the day, they may be assigned to regular patrol duties.
To decrease response times to situations that require a SWAT team, it is now a common practice to place SWAT equipment and weaponry in secured lockers in the trunks of specialized police cruisers.
Departments that often use this style of organization are county sheriffs , due to the different sizes of counties, and the predominance of back-roads. In places like Los Angeles, where traffic may be heavy, the LAPD uses cruisers such as this to respond with their officers so they do not have to return to a police station to armor up. However, heavier duty equipment may be needed depending on the situation that arises. However, this unit also provides a wide range of services in addition to SWAT functions, including search and rescue, and car accident vehicle extrication, normally handled by fire departments or other agencies.
The need to summon widely dispersed personnel, then equip and brief them, makes for a long lag between the initial emergency and actual SWAT deployment on the ground. The problems of delayed police response at Columbine led to changes in police response,  mainly rapid deployment of line officers to deal with an active shooter, rather than setting up a perimeter and waiting for SWAT to arrive.
SWAT teams use equipment designed for a variety of specialist situations including close-quarters combat CQC in an urban environment. The particular pieces of equipment vary from unit to unit, but there are some consistent trends in what they wear and use. SWAT personnel wear similar utility uniforms to the tactical uniforms worn by the military.
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Many police departments have diverged from the original standard black or blue uniforms, and SWAT uniforms now include plain military green and camouflage patterns. Fire retardant balaclavas are often used to protect the face, as well as to protect the identity of team members. While a wide variety of weapons are used by SWAT teams, the most common weapons include submachine guns, carbines, assault rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles. Tactical aids include flash bangs , stingers , and tear gas grenades. Semi-automatic pistols are the most popular sidearms.
To breach doors quickly, battering rams , shotguns with breaching rounds, or explosive charges can be used to break the lock or hinges, or even demolish the door frame itself. SWAT teams also use many non-lethal munitions and weapons. These include Tasers , pepper spray canisters, shotguns loaded with bean bag rounds, Pepperball guns, stinger grenades , flash bang grenades, and tear gas. Ballistic shields are used in close quarters situations to provide cover for SWAT team members and reflect gunfire. Pepperball guns are essentially paint ball markers loaded with balls containing oleoresin capsicum "pepper spray".
Helicopters may be used to provide aerial reconnaissance or even insertion via rappelling or fast-roping. To avoid detection by suspects during insertion in urban environments, SWAT units may also use modified buses, vans, trucks, or other seemingly normal vehicles. During the North Hollywood shootout , LAPD SWAT commandeered an armored cash-delivery truck, which they used to extract wounded civilians and officers from the raging firefight with the heavily armed bank robbers.
The Saracen was modified to accommodate the needs of the SOT. A Night Sun [ clarification needed ] was mounted on top and a ram was mounted to the front. The Saracen has been used from warrant service to emergency response. It has enabled team members to move from one point to another safely.
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