NTOA › Forums › Operational Leadership › SWAT Command Decision-Making And Leadership I: SWAT Personnel Recruitment › Should SWAT Teams “recruit” new officers? › Reply To: Should SWAT Teams “recruit” new officers?
My training and experience has taught me that “new officers” with little or know experience may not make the best SWAT operators. The key word is new. Experience comes in several categories. Some of these new officers, as was the case with me, come to the job with special training and active combat experience. Combat experience in itself does not necessarily make an officer a better candidate for SWAT, but it may. Veterans with the right training and experience can become exceptional operators and leaders. Officers who are new to a department, but not new to the profession may also bring training and experience to the table. In the multi-jurisdictional SWAT world I have have worked in, officers may change departments and continue to serve on the same team. Training and experience are key factors my team looks at when we are filling SWAT positions. We encourage officers to train hard, and point them in the right direction when it comes to training opportunities. Officers may have the opportunity to attend basic SWAT, or other applicable training as patrol officers. These the type of self motivated, mature officer who may make the best new SWAT candidates
In conclusion, I believe new officers must be given the opportunity to gain experience and mature before being recruited for SWAT. As with most rules of thumb there are exceptions.