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  • Combat to SWAT

    I'm currently in my 8th month of a deployment to Iraq. One of my main jobs is conducting raids on suspected insurgents with the intent of detaining them and sending them on their way to Abu Ghraib. I've had extensive training in building and room clearing, breaching, dynamic entry, etc. We have currently detained approximately 150 bad guys. My question is this. Most departments require that you are employed for a minimum of two years before you can even apply for SWAT. Is it unheard of in certain circumstances such as mine where they will allow you to apply before that if you bring enough real world experience to the department? Thanks.

  • #2
    Thank you for your service.

    Unheard of? Well, I've never heard of it. Most agencies need to develop a trust in your ability to handle everyday situations as an officer before you can be a door kicker. We can teach most any good cop with the desire how to make entries. We can't always teach a trained Army/Marine door kicker how to be a good cop.

    With all due respect, the rules of engagement, and the requirment for officers to make independent decisions when on solo patrol, are far different from the group dynamics in the Army/ USMC. On almost all departments, SWAT is just a part of your duties, and a part time assignment. Even LAPD has their SWAT officers doing other things when they are not training.

    I think the 2 years of street time is a good idea. You need to decide: Do you want to be a cop, or just a door kicker?
    "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
    John Stuart Mill

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    • #3
      The major difference between the military and law enforcement.

      Military has the philosophy of acceptable casualty levels.

      Law enforcement has the philosophy of zero casualties.

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      • #4
        I work in the surburbs of a decent sized city (Kanas City Missouri) and with the TAC/SWAT/SRT teams we have in the area, I have never, ever head of anyone being allowed to join a team without doing their street time first.
        In some of the smaller, more rural places, you might be able to join a mulit-jurisdictional team once you get on a department. Most of those do not serve warrants or do stuff daily and are an additional assignment to you being a patrol level officer.

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        • #5
          If all you want to do is kick in doors and clear buildings/rooms then you should stay in the military.
          Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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          • #6
            Do you honestly believe that any department would put someone with no experience as a police officer on its SWAT team (especially in this age of liability concerns)? Common sense is probably the most important trait in law enforcement, and your idea does not pass the common sense test.
            Before you tell us how you are so qualified to be a police officer in a specialty position, why don't you tell us what makes you qualified to be a police officer (like a resume)?

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            • #7
              I agree with everyone else that you have to put your time in before any department will put you in a SWAT capacity.

              With that being said, SWAT training and military training have little to do with one another. It is like comparing apples to oranges. Dynamic entry is only one facet of what a SWAT Team does. Even then, so much more goes into the planning phase that people rarely think of. For example, the breachers have to think about door construction, which way the door swings open, what door you will even enter into, where you will make your approach from, who will hold the screen door if there is one, what you will do if you are comprimised, etc. Hostage/ Barricade situations are 1000x more complicated than that.
              "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't."

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              • #8
                Big Difference................. Trust so two yrs on streets would be a very minimum and swat isn't out there to kill like military is trained to do.
                Temperment is guaged while get cut your teeth on patrol

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                • #9
                  ........................
                  Last edited by Frank Booth; 04-22-2007, 03:07 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Swat

                    Originally posted by SSG J
                    I'm currently in my 8th month of a deployment to Iraq. One of my main jobs is conducting raids on suspected insurgents with the intent of detaining them and sending them on their way to Abu Ghraib. I've had extensive training in building and room clearing, breaching, dynamic entry, etc. We have currently detained approximately 150 bad guys. My question is this. Most departments require that you are employed for a minimum of two years before you can even apply for SWAT. Is it unheard of in certain circumstances such as mine where they will allow you to apply before that if you bring enough real world experience to the department? Thanks.
                    I agree with most everyone. First of all THANK YOU for your service. There may be some departments that will give you some leverage with your experience BUT you don't want it. The feelings of most line officers would be resentment towards you because they have been on the front lines here. Not to undermine or belittle your experience there. You obviously are in hell's kitchen and are experienced in your work. I would recommend getting on board, taking your time, taking every class or course offered to be an instructor and THEN use your experience to teach. We can all learn from each other and your experience is valuable to all of us. Keep low bro...come home safely first.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SSG J
                      I'm currently in my 8th month of a deployment to Iraq. One of my main jobs is conducting raids on suspected insurgents with the intent of detaining them and sending them on their way to Abu Ghraib. I've had extensive training in building and room clearing, breaching, dynamic entry, etc. We have currently detained approximately 150 bad guys. My question is this. Most departments require that you are employed for a minimum of two years before you can even apply for SWAT. Is it unheard of in certain circumstances such as mine where they will allow you to apply before that if you bring enough real world experience to the department? Thanks.

                      Who are you deployed with?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GoGo Gadget
                        Or you can turn around, go back as a civilian contractor and make more money training others to do what you are doing now. Couple of Green Beanie buddies of mine have done that.
                        Getting hired on this job was SUCH a pay cut. Although my mental health is better now than when I was contracting
                        Whitechapel - Hate Creation

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                        • #13
                          I agree with at least 2 years working the road before making the jump to SWAT. As an LEO who has been in Iraq for 8 months, I can tell you that the rules here are a lot different than they are at home. There is the 'casualty or war' here, which on a SWAT team would amount to 'mega lawsuit' at home. Even with the ROE here you can still make a mistake and not get burned, but at home you will get hammered. Police work has a lot less margin for error. That and retraining would be necessary to get out of the military mindset, especially the interaction with civilians who can understand what you are saying without an interpreter.

                          My advice would be to seek out a lot of Guardsmen and Reservists if you are interested in Law Enforcement. Theres quite a few of us around too and are more than willing to give advice.

                          Who are you here with? If you are at Camp Liberty there are plenty of LEO's here with Guard units. I'm not a door kicker, I go look for roadside bombs with TF Ironclaw (aka the Buffalo). The main experience I will be able to take back to my LEO job is a new profound hatred for people who litter.

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                          • #14
                            As said before, LE vs military tactics are two separate animals. I wouldn't go to an oral interview and tell them your aspirations are to be a door-kicker on their SWAT team.

                            What is the big fascination with SWAT anyway? Every po-dunk agency in the country has a group of guys with black BDUs and Blackhawk gear now. When you've done it in the military, it's no fun in LE. Besides, there are many more opportunities to do other fun **** on a big dept.
                            Whitechapel - Hate Creation

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SinePari
                              As said before, LE vs military tactics are two separate animals. I wouldn't go to an oral interview and tell them your aspirations are to be a door-kicker on their SWAT team.

                              What is the big fascination with SWAT anyway? Every po-dunk agency in the country has a group of guys with black BDUs and Blackhawk gear now. When you've done it in the military, it's no fun in LE. Besides, there are many more opportunities to do other fun **** on a big dept.
                              I beg to differ. I've had PLENTY of fun kicking in doors while wearing my "black pajamas" since getting out of the Marines. The only difference is that instead of low crawling through the mud I get to go in a vehicle now.
                              If it wasn't for STUPID PEOPLE I'd be unemployed.

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