SWAT operations present unique and challenging legal issues. The mere deployment of SWAT is looked at by the courts as a use of force in and of itself. The critical and sometimes harsh court opinions only escalate from there. As implied in the name, the special weapons and tactics employed by SWAT require extensive and unique training. Naturally, this raises the questions of whether there are legal consequences of using such weapons and tactics and whether there are additional legal considerations before deployment that go beyond the traditional use of force analysis? The answer is yes, but to what extent and how should these issues factor back into training?
The National Tactical Officers Association recommends that collateral duty SWAT teams train for 16 hours a month, or 192 hours a year, and full-time teams 40 hours a month, or a total of 480 hours annually. The training must be regular and reoccurring and based on critical skills specific to the SWAT mission. Accordingly, no training is complete without addressing current legal issues and threats faced by SWAT units as a whole, supervisors, and individual members.
CCG provides SWAT-specific legal courses that can be utilized in basic SWAT certification schools or for annual refreshers. Focus is given to general liability issues and current case law regarding SWAT operations. Courses can be tailored to meet your specific requests and needs. Contact us for more information.