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  • Swat

    Hello officers and others alike, I just had a few questions concerning SWAT.

    What are the chances of getting a tryout to the SWAT division without prior military experience?

    What is the general time needed on the force and on the streets until you are allowed a tryout?

    How does a full-time tactical member spend most of his hours? Does he hang out around station until the team gets a call?

    Is very stressful being a part-time tactical member having many responsibilities on the street then switching modes into SWAT member? Do you typically end up working a lot of overtime?

    Is it possible to get a ride along with a part-time tactical member? Do you need the right connections or can you ask the department if any part-time guys will take you?

    That's about it for now. I've only a college student with three more years left, but I've been wanting to be a cop since I was in high school and SWAT especially interests me.

    Thanks for your time,

    - David L.

  • #2
    Originally posted by crazybuck13
    Hello officers and others alike, I just had a few questions concerning SWAT.

    What are the chances of getting a tryout to the SWAT division without prior military experience?

    What is the general time needed on the force and on the streets until you are allowed a tryout?

    How does a full-time tactical member spend most of his hours? Does he hang out around station until the team gets a call?

    Is very stressful being a part-time tactical member having many responsibilities on the street then switching modes into SWAT member? Do you typically end up working a lot of overtime?

    Is it possible to get a ride along with a part-time tactical member? Do you need the right connections or can you ask the department if any part-time guys will take you?

    That's about it for now. I've only a college student with three more years left, but I've been wanting to be a cop since I was in high school and SWAT especially interests me.

    Thanks for your time,

    - David L.
    Work through the ladder like everyone else, and if a department has an opening, you can apply to it just like the other 100 guys that want to be on ERT, SWAT, SERT, whatever you want to call it. Most SWAT officers, unless on a big city that has a specific designation and unit for that, will also be officers in the street, detectives, etc. You'll split duty mainly. Ride along with SWAT, would seriously doubt that would EVER happen due to liability. If you have to sign a waiver for a patrol ride along, don't expect getting anything higher or more dangerous. Most departments require about 3-5 years on patrol(depending on dept.) before you can apply to a different unit, regardless if it's K-9, Narcotics, Detective, SWAT, etc.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by aftermath
      Work through the ladder like everyone else, and if a department has an opening, you can apply to it just like the other 100 guys that want to be on ERT, SWAT, SERT, whatever you want to call it. Most SWAT officers, unless on a big city that has a specific designation and unit for that, will also be officers in the street, detectives, etc. You'll split duty mainly. Ride along with SWAT, would seriously doubt that would EVER happen due to liability. If you have to sign a waiver for a patrol ride along, don't expect getting anything higher or more dangerous. Most departments require about 3-5 years on patrol(depending on dept.) before you can apply to a different unit, regardless if it's K-9, Narcotics, Detective, SWAT, etc.
      Thanks. I should have rephrased the ride along part. I was wondering if you could ride along with a guy that splits part time street/SWAT. I just thought it would be interesting talking to him about his job.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by crazybuck13
        What are the chances of getting a tryout to the SWAT division without prior military experience?
        As good as anyone elses really. Some teams may prefer military background, but its not necessary at all.

        What is the general time needed on the force and on the streets until you are allowed a tryout?
        That will vary greatly depending on department. Most departments want 3-5 years before applying for a speciality position, others may let you right out the gate. The biggest factor is that you've proven yourself on the streets before coming to the team.

        How does a full-time tactical member spend most of his hours? Does he hang out around station until the team gets a call?
        Training, training, and more training. And then just to mix things up, a little more training.

        Is very stressful being a part-time tactical member having many responsibilities on the street then switching modes into SWAT member?

        I work the road and am on-call for the tac team. The switch isn't really a big deal. Like anything in LE, one minute your doing this, the next minute your doing that. You just focus on what you've got to do. The advantage is I've got all kinds of special "toys" in my cruiser should the situation require it.

        Do you typically end up working a lot of overtime?
        There's a certain amount of overtime built into it, sure. The problem is that it is rarely when you feel like working overtime.

        Is it possible to get a ride along with a part-time tactical member? Do you need the right connections or can you ask the department if any part-time guys will take you?
        If you're talking about just a routine patrol ride-along, you can check with your local department. Having the right connections doesn't hurt though.

        If you're talking about going along on a call-out- sorry, not going to happen.
        Originally posted by kontemplerande
        Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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        • #5
          i'm sure you can schedule a ride a long with a part time swat guy. I happened to go on one with a san diego PD active SWAT guy ( i think that's what he was called)...

          my 2nd FTO was also part time SWAT guy. lots of OT in training and lots of physical testings (which is obvious to be on swat). I had to load all his gear at the beginning of the shifts, and it was a LOT of gear.

          you don't need any military experience. some agencies might like it, but usually it's not required. as long as you are in shape, a good officer, shoot well, and can pass SWAT school, you're good to go.

          i think it'll take longer to make it to a full time (larger dept) SWAT team. it's very competitive.

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