Tactical Teams

sec_arr Appendix B: Missions of Tactical Teams

Appendix B: Missions of Tactical Teams

In a national study of 254 agencies the most common activations of tactical teams, in decreasing order of frequency, were the following:

  • Warrant service
  • Building search
  • Barricaded suspects
  • Area search (Footnote: e.g., fugitive tracking in rural environment)
  • Suicidal individuals
  • Automobile assault (including van and truck assault)
  • Hostage situation and hostage rescue*
  • Civil unrest and crowd control
  • Active shooter
  • Bus assault
  • Downed officer
  • Water-borne assault

This study also reported that 60.3% of agencies surveyed had their own SWAT team and 30.9% participated in a multi-agency SWAT team. 89.8% of agencies had exclusively part-time members with primary duties outside of the SWAT team.

Other assignments of tactical teams might include:

  • Executive protection
  • Special event security
  • Prisoner and witness security
  • High-risk apprehensions
  • Covert and undercover operations
  • Train assault
  • Aircraft assault
  • Training**

*Hostage rescue includes planned deliberate hostage rescue and emergency hostage rescue. According to the National Tactical Officers Association, planned deliberate hostage rescue is the “most resource demanding” SWAT mission, and is beyond the capabilities of “SWAT Tier 2 teams.”

**The National Tactical Officers Association recommends a minimum of 16 hours of monthly training after initial training