Most small to medium sized agencies are hard pressed to have the personnel to cover their shifts much less having a special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team. Cities also have budgetary, training, and equipment constraints as well. But law enforcement officers and executives have a duty to do everything in their power to protect their citizens. Society expects their police agency to be trained and equipped and ready to handle any situation that occurs in a timely manner. Police administrators must think outside the box and come to the realization that due to their department’s size, budget constraints, equipment issues, and training, they may need assistance to be that complete police service that the community believes they are. Law enforcement agencies should consider being part of a regional SWAT Team.
One way of doing this is by combining resources with surrounding agencies. They share equipment, manpower, trainers, knowledge, and experiences that each agency will bring to the team. This cuts down on costs, equipment issues, training issues, and manpower issues. Also, having a well thought out and written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), department heads that have already been involved with the selection process of their SWAT commander know up front what type of control they have over the team while in their jurisdiction. The transition to a multi-jurisdictional team is much smoother and less confrontational when all of the issues have been discussed and written out prior to implementing the team. Being a part of a multi-jurisdictional/Regional SWAT team is achievable even for a small to medium-sized agencies. This gives superior service to the communities they serve.