this incredible column from Tactical Response magazine, which I gather is a periodical for SWAT types.
Team commanders must raise the profile of their teams. Stay active. Yes, I mean do warrant service and drug raids even if you have to poach the work. First, your team needs the training time under true callout conditions. If all your team does is train, but seldom deploy, you will end up training just to train. You need to train to fight. You already know that.
Second, make SWAT familiar to senior police staff. Everyone fears the unknown. Don’t let SWAT be that unknown. Make deploying SWAT something that is routine, not something only done after much hand-wringing. “Oh, no! You mean we have to call SWAT? Oh, I don’t know, I just don’t know. Really? Call SWAT? Really?”
Yes, you should have clear guidelines for activating the team. But how many times has the callout of a part-time team been delayed or denied when those callout criteria were met? We really do need to explain that SWAT is less of a threat than the people in the calls we are responding to—you know, those vewy, vewy bad people.
.... note the complete disregard for the rights of the people being raided in the excerpt above. The author is actually suggesting SWAT commanders lobby to have their teams deployed in situations for which they normally wouldn’t be to ensure they’re in good practice. Put another way, he suggests they practice their door smashing, room-clearing, flash-grenade deploying, and other paramilitary tactics on less-than-violent people, so they’re in better form when a real threat arises. Never mind that there are going to be living, breathing, probably bleeding people on the receiving end of these “practice” raids.
I got a whole section on Counter-SWAT Operations in my book Second American Revolution Victory Guide 2.0: http://www.scribd.com/doc/51729720/SECOND-AMERICAN-REVOLUTION-VICTORY-GUIDE-2-0