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Subject: Question about SWAT
GOP    9/25/2006 5:15:53 PM
First, I should go ahead and say that being a SEAL is probably out for me...I have MVP and Autonomic Syndrome (Dysautonomia), which is an adrenaline problem where my body produces enough adrenaline for 4 grown men...it is forbidden (as in, I can't enlist) by all military branches. I could lie to the MEPS doctors, but it's not worth it...Hell Week would probably aggravate my MVP causing chest pains, and the lack of sleep would cause my body to speed up causing anxiety attacks (from the Dysautonomia)...I would hurt my boat crew and cause them more pain. That is why I am now focusing on SWAT (I know this is a military forum, but I believe that a few of you guys are on various police forces). Now, to the questions: 1) What kind of selection process would I undergo after I apply for SWAT (I believe I have to be a cop for around 4 years)? How long do they usually last? What is the wash-out rate? 2) What are the typical Fitness tests that have to be passed to gain entrance? 3) What is a typical day for a SWAT unit? 4) What kind of training does a SWAT unit undergo on a regular basis?
 
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Yimmy       9/25/2006 8:13:43 PM
I can't help you, but I feel for you dude, finding that out must really suck.
 
I have never heard of the illness before, but I do not recall seeing it on any armed forces application forms over here, so perhaps you could try for a nation of the Commonwealths forces, if it is really what you want to do with your life?
 
 
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GOP       9/25/2006 11:49:19 PM
Yeah bro, it sucks...I've cried like a little sissy baby, but I need to let it go and focus on my other options in law enforcement (Local SWAT, FBI then HRT, DEA, etc). My first reaction is to feel sorry for myself, but it does me no good. I need to continue to train and make something of myself.
 
As far as going to Britain, nah. I am an American, and if I can't serve in the military, then I'll serve as a LEO.  
 
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GOP       9/25/2006 11:51:06 PM
Yeah bro, it sucks...I've cried like a little sissy baby, but I need to let it go and focus on my other options in law enforcement (Local SWAT, FBI then FBI HRT, DEA, ATF, etc). My first reaction is to feel sorry for myself, but that will get me no where, so I need to change my goals and work toward achieving them.
 
As far as going to Britain, nah. I'm an American, and if I can't serve in the military, then I'll serve as an LEO.   
 
 
 
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GOP       9/25/2006 11:56:01 PM

oops...I didn't think my first post went through. Sorry for the double post (we really need a delete button).

 

 

 

 
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longrifle       9/26/2006 1:56:18 AM
Most SWAT teams are part time teams, only a few of the largest cities have officers that do nothing but SWAT.  In fact, some smaller jurisdictions may have a multi-agency team.  This could be mulitple counties, county and city, or some combination.

Requirements will vary from department to department.  They will want you to be a seasoned patrol officer and be well versed in use of force isssues before allowing you to try out, but whether that's a year or several years will vary.

Typical selection will include a PT test, marksmanship test, oral board, and maybe a written test.  PT tests will also vary according to department.  It might be something as simple as max pushups in a minute, max situps in a minute, and a 1.5 mile run for time.  This is the same thing that most basic academies require.  It might be something similar to the firefighters fitness test, where you may have to run up and down steps with your equipment or a weighted vest, drag a 180lbs dummy a certain distance, hit the hammer sled, and do some weighted pullups or cllimb a rope.

Most part time teams will train for six to eight hours a month.  This might be done in one session or two.  Things like high risk warrants, active shooter, baricaded suspect, hostage rescue, probe to contact, dynamic entry, bus assault, vehicle assault, gas training, and of course marksmanship.  There is some carryover to SWAT from your normal patrol training, building searches for example.

Teams are usually made up of a command element, one or more negociators, an entry element, and a sniper element.  Some departments are paranoid about the word sniper, they might call them something like "observer/marksmen" whereas the military would say scout/sniper.  You will also hear terms like sharpshooter, designated rifleman, long rifleman, long gunner, ad nauseam.  About eight to twelve officers will be on the entry element, the snipers will be about half that.  Thats for the part time teams, not some agency like LA of Dallas.

Condolences about your health problems.  Be prepared for some agencies to make an issue out of it and for some not to care.  One of the best officers in my department is a diabetic.  He would not qualify for military service.    I don't know about the Feds feel about things like that.



 
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GOP       9/26/2006 12:29:23 PM

Most SWAT teams are part time teams, only a few of the largest cities have officers that do nothing but SWAT.  In fact, some smaller jurisdictions may have a multi-agency team.  This could be mulitple counties, county and city, or some combination.

Requirements will vary from department to department.  They will want you to be a seasoned patrol officer and be well versed in use of force isssues before allowing you to try out, but whether that's a year or several years will vary.

Typical selection will include a PT test, marksmanship test, oral board, and maybe a written test.  PT tests will also vary according to department.  It might be something as simple as max pushups in a minute, max situps in a minute, and a 1.5 mile run for time.  This is the same thing that most basic academies require.  It might be something similar to the firefighters fitness test, where you may have to run up and down steps with your equipment or a weighted vest, drag a 180lbs dummy a certain distance, hit the hammer sled, and do some weighted pullups or cllimb a rope.

Most part time teams will train for six to eight hours a month.  This might be done in one session or two.  Things like high risk warrants, active shooter, baricaded suspect, hostage rescue, probe to contact, dynamic entry, bus assault, vehicle assault, gas training, and of course marksmanship.  There is some carryover to SWAT from your normal patrol training, building searches for example.

Teams are usually made up of a command element, one or more negociators, an entry element, and a sniper element.  Some departments are paranoid about the word sniper, they might call them something like "observer/marksmen" whereas the military would say scout/sniper.  You will also hear terms like sharpshooter, designated rifleman, long rifleman, long gunner, ad nauseam.  About eight to twelve officers will be on the entry element, the snipers will be about half that.  Thats for the part time teams, not some agency like LA of Dallas.

Condolences about your health problems.  Be prepared for some agencies to make an issue out of it and for some not to care.  One of the best officers in my department is a diabetic.  He would not qualify for military service.    I don't know about the Feds feel about things like that.





Excellent post Longrifle, alot of good info in there. Alot of the small city Police Departments in my state have a part-time SWAT team, but to be honest, all they do is 'SWAT flies'. I know of 2 cities in my state that have a fulltime SWAT/HRT Element, but they require either a) 3 years of patrolling time, b) a 2 year degree from college, or c) a 4 year degree from college just to get on the police force as an officer, then around 5-6 more years until I could get on the SWAT/HRT (they have a weird name for it, like Special Police Tactical Team I believe) team. The more I read about FBI HRT, the more I would really love an opportunity to get to that level...but as you say, this medical problem might make things difficult...I kind of think it's unfair, I can score a 300 (actually, I am above a 300) on the APFT, but I can't join the Army, while some fat-a*** slob who has sat around eating dorito's all day and playing nintendo scores a 130 and can make it through boot camp. If I can ace the FBI's PT test (I've checked it, I already can), and have all the other qualifications (College, etc), then maybe they'll give me a shot...if not, then I'll be looking at a city police department.
What city's SWAT team has a good reputation? Dallas SWAT nearly beat GSG-9 during the SWAT challenge, and the LAPD has always been considered to be great, but I don't know about the others. Sorry for the long post   
 
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EW3    GOP   9/26/2006 12:57:57 PM
Don't count yourself out of the military.  Let them do that. 
If it does happen remember the CIA is always recruiting.
Highest on your agenda should be going to college.  That will open a lot of doors for you.  Also, things may change by the time you graduate. 
Go see that movie about the Coast Guard "The Guardian".  
 
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olive greens       9/26/2006 1:59:55 PM

Thats pretty sad, but like EW3 said. . .

Don't count yourself out of the military.  Let them do that. 
 
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GOP       9/26/2006 8:22:02 PM
EW3,
 
thanks for the advice. I am going to continue to train hard and get in better shape, and college is a must (especially now). If the military doesn't want me, then it's OK, they have their regulations and that's that...I'm not one to brag on myself ever, but I believe that they would be losing a good recruit. As far as the CIA, the only reason I would want to be in the CIA was if I could be in Special Activities or CTC...not likely considering I would have no prior SOF experience. Now that I think about it, I have a ton of good options, considering that I do well in college (right now I have a 93 A average in school). I have college then local police then SWAT; College then local police then FBI then FBI HRT; College then local police then DEA; College then local police then ATF; College then maybe CIA (probably extremely unlikely, but it's still there). The upside to all of this is that I will be able to have a real family life, instead of having to be deployed for months and months.
 
Yesterday I was feeling sorry for myself a little bit, today things are looking better. Basically it's just time for me to refocus and try to achieve my goals.   
 
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EW3       9/26/2006 9:30:03 PM
"I'm not one to brag on myself ever, but I believe that they would be losing a good recruit. "
 
I agree with you on that!
There are lots of way to serve our country.  When the time comes you'll know which
is the right one for you.  You might be surprised in a few years on what you decide. 
 
 
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