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Special Weapons and Tactics Team (S.W.A.T.)

SWAT Picture

The Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) is a specially trained unit to be utilized in exceptional instances when advanced tactical police procedures and weapons are required. Members of the SWAT team carry out their assignments in extremely unpredictable, adverse and oftentimes dangerous conditions.

The Aurora Police Department formed the Special Weapons Rifle Team in 1978. Although the mission remained the same, the name of the unit was later changed to Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT.

The mission of the SWAT Team is to safely resolve high-risk situations. Some examples of these types of situations are: High risk search warrants/raids High risk arrests Hostage situations Barricaded suspects Suicidal subject rescue VIP protection details Counter sniper Other situations where the likelihood of armed resistance appears great.

If you find yourself in an area where a SWAT team is deployed it is important that you follow some simple rules. Do not try to drive or walk into the area. Stay indoors, stay away from the windows, and lock your doors. If you are told to evacuate, follow instructions and comply with the evacuation (Remember: If you are told to evacuate, it is for your safety).

The SWAT team receives calls for assistance not only from the Department, but other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The Hostage Negotiation Team responds with the SWAT Team. The SWAT team is responsible for vehicles, equipment, weapons maintenance, setting up training, and various other assignments. All of the team members have other full time jobs within the Police Department.

The SWAT Team trains twice monthly with additional training available as needed.

The minimum requirements to test for SWAT are as follows: members are required to have three years of service as a Police Officer, with a minimum of one year of service with APD, and have successfully completed an APD rifle certification course.  Officers interested in becoming a SWAT officer must first endure an intense testing process that evaluates the officer's abilities, mindset, and overall mental and physical capabilities to perform this demanding job.

The Aurora Police Department's SWAT team has a wide variety of chemical munitions (tear gas) and less-lethal capabilities. A select group of SWAT officers are specifically trained for deploying these tools; they train and are certified on a regular basis. Less-lethal deployment is using projectiles (beanbags, foam, rubber, etc.) that are designed to incapacitate a suspect, but not to kill the individual.

Our SWAT Team has some success stories where less-lethal deployment has saved individuals’ lives, where only a few years ago our only option would have been deadly force. Less-lethal deployment has proven itself as a valuable tool.
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