POLICE Magazine

AUG 2019

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30 POLICE AUGUST 2019 tarians and anti-police activists. Heal says it's not a bad idea to restrict SWAT to certain operations and he ar- gues against mission creep. "SWAT teams have a role and when they are deployed in situations that would make their legitimacy questioned, they can be seen as overkill. e controversy this creates far exceeds the specific (benefits of that one) instance and taints the en- tire concept," he explains. McLaughlin believes SWAT is being underused in some situations. "A lot of administrators are in the wake of an- ti-law enforcement sentiment fearful of deploying the SWAT team because of how it looks to do so. I believe that's one reason why we are having more officer injuries and fatalities. We are letting patrol officers who lack the experience and know-how deal with situations that maybe should have involved the tacti- cal team." One example of a patrol operation that McLaughlin says should involve SWAT is the involuntary commitment of people who have a history of violence as well as mental illness. ese situa- tions can be very dangerous for officers and can lead to controversial shootings of the subject being committed. Mc- Laughlin believes involving the SWAT team, along with patrol officers, and officers with crisis intervention train- ing, and—if possible—mental health professionals would make these inci- dents less hazardous for all involved. "e tactical team should be deployed with both lethal and less-lethal force," he says, adding that many agencies do not provide less-lethal options that can "take someone down at a distance" such as 40mm launchers to patrol officers. CROWD CONTROL Overuse or underuse is not Eells' major concern about how SWAT is being de- ployed. He says SWAT is being inappro- priately used by some agencies. Specifically, he worries that some SWAT teams are being called upon to do something they were never designed to do and haven't been trained to do properly, crowd control. "More often than not, that is not a SWAT mission," he says. "And law enforcement leadership needs to realize that deploying SWAT teams for public order situations in this environment today does not serve the team well, nor the agency well, nor the community." Eells says that sometimes the very sight of SWAT during protests and demonstrations can be inciting. "ere are incidents where the presence of SWAT has contributed to the emotion of the event, and I think we can do better than that," he explains. Instead of sending SWAT into crowd control situations, Eells argues that agencies should create and train public order teams. He advocates for the Eu- ropean model of crowd control, which has proved effective in some U.S. ju- risdictions. "ey use teams of officers that have been specifically trained and very carefully equipped with the right protective equipment for the public dis- order mission." Eells adds that even though he be- lieves SWAT should not be front and center during public disorder opera- tions it should be available for citizen and officer rescues and in case shots are fired. WARRANT SERVICE AND CONTROVERSY e presence of police tactical teams at protests can be a flashpoint, but not even using SWAT for crowd control is as controversial or as universally decried by police critics as using it for warrant simplifying t h e d u t y h o l s t e r made in the u.s.a. X - C A L I B U R TM The X-Calibur works with your body's natural mechanics, incorporating the Science of Human Factors to produce a secure, fast, and intuitive duty holster. p o i n t b l a n k e n t e r p r i s e s . c o m ANSWERING SWAT CRITICS SWAT SHOULD BE USED FOR HIGH-RISK WARRANTS AND DRUG WARRANTS BECAUSE DRUGS AND GUNS GO TOGETHER. —ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN, PRESIDENT, NCTOA

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