The South San Francisco Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team was developed in 1997 in order to provide an effective tactical police response to critical life-threatening situations, including armed and (or) barricaded suspects, hostage situations, snipers, ambushes, high-risk warrant service, VIP security, or other unusual situations. S.W.A.T. is designed to handle any incident that has a propensity for armed confrontations, which through containment and specialized tactics, would more likely be resolved without injury or loss of life.

The South San Francisco S.W.A.T. team is part of a regional tactical team comprised of sworn police officers from the Brisbane, Burlingame, Foster City, Hillsborough, San Mateo, San Bruno and South San Francisco police departments. This regional team also consists of H.N.T. (Hostage Negotiation Team) members, tactical dispatchers, tactical fire/paramedics, and a tactical doctor. This entire unit is available for activation 24 hours a day, and can provide assistance to any law enforcement agency within San Mateo County.

To become a member of the S.W.A.T. team, an officer must go through a rigorous selection process that includes a formal application, performance review, physical fitness test, marksmanship, oral interview, and administrative approval. The officer must pass an intense two-week basic S.W.A.T. school taught by F.B.I. S.W.A.T. and U.S. Military Special Forces instructors. Team members participate in monthly training exercises, and must pass and maintain physical and shooting standards on a quarterly basis. S.W.A.T. team members are often selected to specialize in various areas, including sniper / observers, weapons of mass destruction (WMD) operations, tactical K-9 operations, and mechanical breaching.

The S.W.A.T. team is equipped with specialized weaponry and equipment necessary for a variety of tactical missions. The team maintains and deploys the Colt M-4 and AR-15 assault rifles, Remington 700LTR sniper rifles, and Heckler and Koch MP-5 sub-machine guns. Handguns include Beretta, Sig-Sauer, and Heckler and Koch .40 caliber pistols. Specialty impact munitions and chemical agents can be deployed utilizing 40mm launchers. Other equipment includes night vision devices, lighting systems, shields, bunkers, breaching tools, noise/flash diversion devices, and other mission specific tools. The team also has the capability to deploy command vehicles and armored personnel carriers in response to tactical incidents.
SWAT Armored Vehicle