Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Team
The mission of the Burbank Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team is the preservation of life and property during critical incidents and high-risk operations. The SWAT Team is called upon to respond for service of high-risk search and arrest warrants; incidents involving barricaded suspects, hostage rescues, or active shooters; crowd control; and other situations requiring resources beyond the capacity of the patrol division. Members of SWAT also provide training in tactics to other members of the police department, during directed training exercises.
The SWAT Team is currently comprised of 24 members. Members participate on the team as a collateral duty, in addition to their full-time assignments within the police department. Assignments within the team include: the ground team (containment and entry); snipers; tactical medics; and K-9 handlers. As an additional resource, a Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) is attached to SWAT and is available for establishing dialogue with various subjects at a critical incident, in an effort to attempt a safe resolution through communication.
Members of SWAT are selected to the team during a competitive process, in which their physical fitness, firearms skills, communications skills, decision making abilities, and job performance are evaluated. Once selected to the team, members are sent to a two-week Basic SWAT School, where they receive concentrated instruction in tactics, movement and searching techniques, and firearms handling and marksmanship. Members of SWAT train together two days a month and one full week a year. Additional specialized training is attended individually or in small groups.
SWAT maintains a wide array of equipment to allow its members to accomplish their mission safely. An armored vehicle and remotely-operated camera devices allow SWAT to operate in and search many areas without exposing themselves to gunfire. Members of the team are equipped with rifles, shotguns, gas masks, and ballistic helmets and vests. They also employ a variety of less-lethal devices and chemical agents to reduce the need to use lethal force during an encounter.
Members of the SWAT Team are expected to be available “on-call” at short notice, dedicate a significant amount of personal time to training, and strive for continuous improvement in the performance of their mission – saving lives.