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SWAT3.jpgThe Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office established the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) in 1989 in response to the increase in occurrence of narcotics smuggling and trafficking. Since then, the team has provided a ready response to extreme situations that are beyond the capabilities of normally equipped and trained department personnel. The S.W.A.T. Team is comprised of a group of highly disciplined officers cross-trained in special weapons and tactics to cope with unusual and difficult tasks.

The mission of the S.W.A.T. Team is to provide the department with the capability to safely resolve high-risk situations. Some examples of these types of situations are:

  • Hostage situations 
  • Barricaded suspects 
  • Crisis negotiation 
  • High risk search warrants 
  • High risk arrests/raids 
  • VIP protection details 
  • Other dangerous situations 

Every officer has a specialty assignment on the team that they specifically train for; however, everyone also receives cross training in the other specialties. Some of the specialties include:

  • Chemical and Less-lethal Munitions 
  • Dynamic Breaching 
  • Tactical Medic 
  • Entry Specialists 

If you find yourself in an area where a SWAT Team is deployed it is very important that you follow some simple rules:

  • Do not try to drive or walk into the area 
  • Stay indoors, stay away from the windows, and lock your doors 
  • If you are told to evacuate, follow instructions and comply with the evacuation 

It is a natural curiosity to try to watch what is going on, but if you can see the action, you are too close and you are in danger.