Special Weapons and Tactics Team (S.W.A.T.)Mission Statement and Core Values
- The mission of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team is to preserve life in high-risk situations through the use of specialized training, equipment, and tactics in a professional manner that inspires confidence in the community.
- All operations will be conducted with the highest regard for the preservation of life.
The SWAT Team is committed to the safe resolution of all high risk situations and will approach each situation in a professional and controlled manner, with an emphasis on a negotiated resolution.
- The SWAT Team will use the best available specialized training and equipment to accomplish its mission and will develop the specialized skills of each team member.
- The SWAT Team is committed to a controlled, rapid response to high risk situations in order to gain control and minimize the risk of death or injury to any person.
- Team members approach their duties with a high level of confidence, motivation, flexibility, and patience.
- The SWAT Team members acknowledge their dependence upon one another and work as a team in an atmosphere of trust, confidence, and open communication.
The CMPD SWAT Negotiator Unit provides SWAT Command with an experienced cadre of officers trained in the art and science of hostage and crisis negotiation. SWAT Negotiators support the SWAT Mission by gathering intelligence, establishing communications, and facilitating peaceful resolution of high risk incidents through negotiation whenever possible.
The SWAT Team utilizes an extensive array of specialized equipment and various weapon systems to perform it's function.
- BEAR (Ballistic Engineered Armored Rescue & Response) vehicle
- Ballistic shields
- Ballistic blankets
- Chemical munitions
- Breaching rounds
- Distraction devices
- Night vision equipment
- Thermal imaging equipment
- Covert videotaping equipment
- Less-lethal weapon systems
- Rappelling equipment
The deployments depend on the type of situation that needs specialized skills and tactics to ensure the safety of all involved. The S.W.A.T. Team averages 3-4 deployments per month on an annual basis. The primary functions served by the team include:
- High-Risk search warrants
- Barricaded subjects
- Hostage taking incidents
- Suicidal individuals
- Woodland search
- Dignitary protection/ VIP visit
- Surveillance operations
- In service training of deployment tactics
SWAT members go through training 28 days per year to prepare them for whatever situation presents itself during a deployment. In addition, the grenadiers receive an additional four days, ALERT team members receive six additional days and the snipers get an additional twelve days. Team members often attend off-site training when appropriate. Most training is conducted by instructors from within the team and the unit facilitates a basic SWAT school for new team members.
The SWAT team is comprised of various specialized groups that focus on specific tactics during a deployment. The team has a total of sixty-one members separated into three units by function.
Tactical Unit: This unit has forty-three members including Command Staff personnel and is responsible for the tactical operations at a crisis incident. All members of this unit are sworn police officers and are cross trained in all relevant skills and equipment necessary to function at an incident location. Within the tactical unit there are four groups of officers who receive additional training to perform specific tasks.
Grenadiers: These officers are responsible for the delivery of chemical agents, ballistic breaching and less-lethal munitions.
Sniper/Observers: These officers are qualified to deploy with weapon systems that are capable of performing at extended ranges.
Crisis Negotiators: This unit has thirteen members, including Command Staff personnel, and is responsible for establishing a dialogue with any suspect(s) at a scene. They are well-trained in negotiation skills and have successfully resolved a majority of the incidents we have responded to. Through the use of electronic equipment, they are capable of speaking to an individual from a distance, providing a safer environment.
Medics: This unit has five members including a supervisor. They are civilian employees of Mecklenburg County Emergency Medical Services and have been trained in all facets of tactical operations, except firearms.
The medics work closely with the tactical officers and have proven to be an asset at both incident locations and at scheduled training sessions. The members of the SWAT Team serve on a part-time basis with all members having other functions within their respective agencies