Rethinking SWAT.The April issue featured the magazine's first Sound Off column, entitled "Rethinking SWAT," by Lt. Tom Gabor of the Culver City, California Culver City is a city in western Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 38,816. The community is mostly surrounded by the city of Los Angeles but also has a border with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. , Police Department. In the column, Lieutenant Gabor acknowledged that SWAT is an indispensable component of modern policing. At the same time, however, he questioned the need for allocating scarce resources to municipal SWAT units in light of county-wide or regional mutual aid agreements. Lieutenant Gabor also encouraged administrators to reassess the need for SWAT callouts, suggesting that many situations that now result in SWAT deployment could be adequately resolved by patrol units.
This Sound Off generated a significant amount of reader feedback. The majority of readers who responded agreed with the author's position. However, readers did express some dissenting opinions.
Corp. C. Carter of the Barstow, California Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population was 21,119 at the 2000 census.
Barstow is a major regional transportation center. Several major highways including Interstate 15 and Interstate 40 converge in the city. , Police Department concurred with aspects of the column, agreeing that "there are many situations in which patrol officers can get the job done without the need for a SWAT team." At the same time, he expressed concern that "administrators facing budget constraints will use this-type of thinking and place the lives of officers and innocents in danger, unnecessarily." Corporal Carter elaborates, "SWAT is like the pistol we carry .... We don't want or expect to have to use it every day, but when we need it, we need it now and we want it to work. I think Lieutenant Gabor is on the right track in spirit. [However], rather than rethink SWAT, let's think of how we can take a valuable resource and expand upon it."
Other readers disagreed with the author's assertion that effective protection could be maintained with a reduction in municipal SWAT units. Lt. Lee D. Rossman of the West Covina, California West Covina is a city located in eastern Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 105,080. As of 2002, it is the 50th largest city in California. , Police Department doubts that eliminating SWAT would produce significant savings, because many SWAT units around the Nation already work within very limited budget constraints--"some to the point where team members buy their own equipment and train on their own time." Referring to the author's overall premise, Lieutenant Rossman expressed concern that "the research was very limited .... I would suggest that he attend a National Tactical Officer's Association Conference and learn from SWAT Units throughout the country what their SWAT Units actually do."
Pointing out that county law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is a term used to describe any agency which enforces the law. This may be a local or state police, federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). face the same budget constraints as municipal departments, Sgt. Kevin C. Rohrer, Patrol Division Supervisor and Tactical Unit An organization of troops, aircraft, or ships that is intended to serve as a single unit in combat. It may include service units required for its direct support. Leader of the Medina County, Ohio Medina County is a county located in the state of Ohio, United States. As of the 2000 census, the population was 151,095. The 2004 projected population was estimated at 165,370. , Sheriff's Department, cautions against "dumping critical incidents in your local sheriff's lap." Although supporting the concept of regionalization regionalization Managed care The subdivision of a broadly available service–eg, a blood bank, into quasi-autonomous regional centers, capable of making decisions and providing more cost-effective and/or faster service to hospitals and health care facilities, in general, Sergeant Rohrer advises agencies to analyze their specific circumstances carefully before disbanding SWAT teams First developed in the 1960s by local law enforcement agencies, Special Weapons and Tactics units, or SWAT teams, have become common in police departments throughout the United States. . Agencies should consider "jurisdictional problems" and "response times," as well as other factors, when making any decision regarding reallocation Noun 1. reallocation - a share that has been allocated again
allocation, allotment - a share set aside for a specific purpose
2. reallocation of SWAT resources. Sergeant Rohrer also cautions against an over-reliance upon patrol: "The melting pot melting pot
America as the home of many races and cultures. [Am. Pop. Culture: Misc.]
See : America of patrol is not the place we can expect to randomly draw people capable of dealing with all situations .... Having the services of a small, cohesive group of highly trained and equipped, experienced individuals is the best bet for resolving critical incidents. And that group can only be SWAT."
Feedback provides a forum for reader responses to Sound Off, a column in which criminal justice pr express alternative views on accepted practices or address emerging, and perhaps controversial, issu The thoughts expressed in these responses are strictly those of the writers and do not necessarily r opinions of their departments or the FBI.