Mesa Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team was formed in 1975 at the direction of the Chief. The SWAT team began with only five members and was originally formed as an anti-sniper team. The Team quickly realized that there was much more to tactics than just being an anti-sniper team and began training for other high risk situations. The group of highly trained and well-equipped Officers has evolved over the years into a complete Tactical Unit. The Tactical Unit, which is overseen by a lieutenant, now includes the SWAT Team, Hostage Negotiators, Tactical Emergency Medics, the Hazardous Device Team and the K-9 Unit.
The Tactical Team responds to the following situations: Barricaded Suspects, Hostage Rescue Missions, Hazardous Warrant Service, Counter Sniper Situations, Dignitary Protection, or any other mission designated by the Chief of Police.
The Team trains 40 hours a month. The SWAT Team is a full-time unit operating with three squads on various schedules to provide an immediate response during the critical hours of the day. When not performing SWAT functions, the team members support the patrol operations by providing high enforcement activity in designated areas in the city. The Team uses the following criteria for selection of SWAT officers. The member will: "Be a Sworn Police Officer with the City of Mesa;" off probation; volunteer his or her services; be recommended by their supervisor; pass physical, shooting and oral board tests; pass a psychological exam; pass the Basic SWAT School; and receive certification from the SWAT Team.
For upcoming SWAT School dates and registration information, please contact Sgt. Marc Therre