Becoming part of Special Weapons and Tactics team is a challenging task that can be accomplished by relatively few people, due to the demanding physical requirements and mental skills necessary to perform at the highest level in crisis situations. SWAT teams are called upon when complex and highly dangerous criminal scenarios occur, such as saving hostages, assaulting armed criminals or terrorists, penetrating buildings and obstacles, fast capture of important items or people involved in criminal activities, among many others. SWAT teams are elite law enforcement groups where members are expected to exhibit full physical and mental dedication and the ability to work in teams under conditions of stress and chaos. Deciding whether law enforcement, and specifically SWAT teams, are a suitable career path for you depends on several qualities that you may need to possess to be successful at such a challenging job.
Mental And Physical Toughness Are Among The Most Necessary Qualities For SWAT
It not the biggest or strongest men who succeed at accomplishing difficult law enforcement missions, but the ones that have the ability to make quick decisions, exhibit physical endurance and mental persistence until the task is complete. SWAT teams look for individuals who show the ability to work under pressure and collaborate with other teammates under conditions in which normal individuals would panic or become frustrated and unproductive. Being physically and mentally resilient, and placing the mission and the team above your physical and mental comfort is crucial if one is to succeed at becoming a SWAT team member. Physical toughness consists of the ability to continue the mission in spite of physical pain or injury, and push through physical barriers to save the hostage or rescue a wounded teammate. Individuals who doubt that they may have these qualities should not even consider SWAT teams as a potential career path.
Intelligence, Physical Fitness And Attention To Detail Are Also Important
SWAT team members are intelligent individuals who can assess a crisis situation quickly and make quick, potentially life-saving decisions. Making valid choices when time is of vital importance is the ultimate quality of a SWAT team member. Candidates must also be physically fit and possess attention to detail to make sure that nothing gets in the way of a successful outcome. Failing to notice small details, such as small guns, knives, wires or other significant items may result in teammate or hostage injury or death. In stressful conditions, it is important to make the distinction between relevant and unimportant details, which can make the difference between mission success or failure, or life and death.
People who consider a law enforcement career are encouraged to test their abilities by enrolling in courses that help them assess their physical and mental capacities under stressful conditions similar to real-life SWAT missions. It allows potential candidates to determine whether it is worth undergoing rigorous SWAT training only to find out that they are not cut out for the job. Attending challenging SWAT classes and being monitored and guided by highly qualified instructors is the most efficient way to discover your true potential if you dream about an exciting and rewarding law enforcement career.
Written by Katie Garbett, a freelance writer and lifestyle researcher. She enjoys sharing experiences and insights on various blogs. Click here for more details on SWAT experience days.