SWAT is short for Special Weapons and Tactics and is considered to be the best of the best when it comes to law enforcement. This group is usually trained to handle various situations the require force and strategy. Their duties range from resolving armed robberies to intense counter-terrorism scenarios. To become a member of SWAT, you will have to undergo rigorous physical and psychological preparation through training and education. You will be required to be physically and psychologically fit as well. If you are keen to become a member of the elite in law enforcement, then here are some things that you should know.
- Gain experience. Assuming that you have already passed all the requirements to become a police officer and have already been accepted into the department, in order to become a member of SWAT, you will need to have at least 3 years of experience in the force. SWAT will never consider applicants that are rookies or have not done the rounds as a regular police office.
- Get more training. While in the force, you will want to take advantage of the additional classes and training offered to police offers in more advanced law enforcement techniques. Classes in tactics, weapons and firearms, and legal law enforcements would do well under your belt. This will prepare you for the evaluation once you apply for SWAT.
- Apply. Know that SWAT rarely has vacancies to fill but when they do, it is imperative that you send in your application as early as you can. Of course, make sure that you are eligible in terms of experience and training. The more impressive your resume is the higher your chances of getting in. Remember, SWAT will choose the best of the best and since you may have tons of competition in getting the job, you need to be a cut above the rest.
- Take the tests. If you have been chosen as a viable candidate, then you will have to undergo a series of tests. The first will be to test if you are physically fit to handle the rigors of the job. This will involve physical activities that will test your physical strength, stamina, and endurance. If you pass this first test, you will go one with firearms testing. This will basically involve shooting all kinds of standard SWAT weaponry. The more accurate you are the better. Once that is done, you will proceed to a psych test to determine if you are psychologically able to handle the stress of the job. If you pass all these tests, you will have to go through a final panel interview. Passing this final hurdle will be the basis whether you will be accepted or if you will need to reapply later on.
When preparing to become a member of SWAT, it is critical that you know the ins and outs of every facet of the job. Make sure that you are physically and psychologically able and that you are trained in the aspects of the job that matter. Finally, if by chance you get in, make sure that you are able to work with different personalities since SWAT is based on teamwork. One loose screw in the group can lead to failure and even one of your co-members getting seriously injured or killed.