AUSTIN — Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Crime initiative published the policy perspective, A Perspective on Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Teams.

“When a service as essential to our government as law enforcement is considered, it is important to deliberate on the ‘how’ and the ‘why,’” said Randy Petersen, senior researcher for TPPF’s Right on Crime initiative. “If the ability to project force is the most intrusive authority possessed by our government, it is rightfully subjected to the closest examination. This, however, is not always done as the use of SWAT teams remains mostly unexamined.”

Key Points:

  • SWAT is a necessity for the highest risk, mostly pre-planned incidents where patrol officers are not equipped to respond.
  • The lack of state standards for training and capabilities should be addressed.
  • If parameters can be established for police officers who perform policing functions that can vary drastically in different parts of the state, then basic definitions, requirements, and parameters can also be established for SWAT teams whose specialty is far more focused and narrow than the broader policing effort.
  • Best practices have been established by the National Tactical Officers Association and should be used to guide the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement in establishing state-level minimum standards.

To read the perspective in full, please visit: