John N. Lashchuk
22 February 2010
SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics, and is an extremely important branch of Law Enforcement that is primarily designed for subduing heavily armed criminals and saving the lives of many. SWAT is even considered the most important job in the Law Enforcement branch, and for convincing reasons. Some have the opinion that SWAT teams are intimidating to the public do to their military-styled tactics and operational procedures. However, it is these frightening tactics that save lives and eliminate serious criminal threats. These days there are extremely violent criminals, heavily armed gangs, large drug cartels, and the public needs capable units for protection. It is SWAT’s job to come in when the situation is considered out of regular police officer abilities. These situations include hostage rescue, high risk search warrants and anti terrorism. Is SWAT really necessary? The answer is an outrageous YES, SWAT is a necessity! Couldn’t police officers take care of the situations that we have SWAT for? The answer is an incredible NO; the regular police force does not have what it takes to fulfill SWAT duties. With the threat of terrorism on the rise and the new technology this century has brought about, the role of SWAT teams has expanded, and their importance has never been greater. Police officers are not enough when it comes down to the safety of USA citizens, and SWAT teams are needed to take care of the deadly criminals and resolve high risk situations that today may present in the quickest and most effective way possible.
Without SWAT, it would be like August 1, 1966 all over again, a tragic incident that showed the need for a special team designed for high risk situations. SWAT is simply a necessity to keep all American citizens from being victims of dangerous criminals. Without SWAT, our defense against crime would depend primarily on the regular the police force, and as The Texas Clock Tower Shooting showed, that is not enough. On august 1, 1966, a man named Charles Joseph Whitman randomly killed over a dozen people and wounded another 30 or more from the top of the University of Texas clock tower in Austin in under 90 min with his high powered rifle. The police force was so uncoordinated for a situation like this, that even though they got there within minutes, they were unable to stop the rampage of the “Texas Tower Sniper” for over 90 minutes. It is even said that there was a large amount of luck involved in stopping him when they did. August 1 was the birth date of SWAT because it was on that day that Law Enforcement realized that they needed special plans for these types of situations. Though the police officers involved were undoubtedly performing to the best of their abilities, they did not have the type of tactical training or special weapons needed to quickly suppress this type of violent crime. This devastating massacre opened the eyes of America, and put a spot light on how truly vulnerable the everyday person really was. No one could feel safe if something didn’t change, for as Charles Whitman showed, even an honor student could create such a tragic scene. It was then that Chiefs of police decided that they needed to have teams of officers with equipment and training to carry out special plans for these types of incidents. In this day, 2010, our country would be devastated by deadly crime sprees without SWAT teams. If one man could create such havoc in 1966 with a hunting rifle, imagine what would happen in this day and age with the new technology and groups of organized crime such as terrorists. Police officers do not have the training to deal with dangerous hostage situations. Nor do police officers have the ability to eliminate terrorist threats, or subdue heavily armed criminals. SWAT teams are a necessity for the protection of innocent American citizens.
One main reason why police officers are insufficient for...
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