SWAT is trained and equipped to handle hostage situations, barricaded suspects, active shooters, high risk warrant service, and any dangerous situation requiring our skill sets. Applicants for SWAT are subjected to a two day tryout that involves meeting physical minimum standards, shooting 80%, and a written test just to be considered for the skills tests tryout. The day of skills tests involves assessment to determine if the applicant can operate within the team construct and immediately transition to handling stressful situations solo. Cognitive shooting scenarios with shoot/don’t shoot targets are used to gauge an applicant’s thinking and fine motor skills under stress. Being big and strong never hurts but emotional maturity and the calm that results from intellectual process is the most important asset.
The Pine Bluff PD SWAT is a part time team and trains three days each month. Each member is expected to train a minimum of two days. Training is a continuation of the skills testing conducted during tryouts. We shoot under many different situations with various weapons; in light and dark, with night vision or gas mask, and from unusual positions. We train and maintain proficiency in movement drills, search and locate, and orienteering. SWAT also trains to assist and enable our crisis negotiators in their duties.
The official sidearm of PBPD SWAT is the Springfield Armory 1911 Operator in the venerable .45acp. We also use the Heckler and Koch MP-5 sub-machine gun (9mm) as well as various makes of the AR-15 assault rifle. Our primary shotgun is the Remington 1100 tactical.
SWAT does not operate under a separate policy. SWAT’s use of force criteria is the same as applies to every Pine Bluff Police Officer.
Beginning in 2011 PBPD SWAT has the honor of representing our police department as Honor Guards. We are in the process of assembling necessary gear and training for that important duty.