skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 77552 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) - The Tactical Link in Hostage Negotiations (From Political Terrorism and Business - The Threat and Response, P 195-211, 1979, Yonah Alexander and Robert A Kilmarx, ed. - See NCJ-77538)
Author(s): A H Miller
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 76-NI-99-0108
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The philosophy, recruitment and training, and tactical procedures of police special weapons and tactics (SWAT) units in hostage situations are discussed.
Abstract: The philosophy underlying the development of SWAT teams is to provide a highly trained and disciplined team to act with efficiency to produce the successful termination of the hostage incident without casualties either to victims or offenders. Most SWAT teams have rigorous recruitment and training requirements. Training may cover physical conditioning, weapons use, controlling behavior under stress, and conducting hostage negotiations. In any hostage or barricade situation, the primary duty of the SWAT unit is to establish control of an inner perimeter. The uniformed patrol drops back to establish an outer perimeter. Because response time is a vital ingredient for dealing with hostage situations, members of SWAT teams generally carry enough gear in the trunks of their cars to respond to a call. Intelligence-gathering is initiated as the team takes over from the uniformed patrol. Problems facing SWAT teams include the handling of the media at the hostage scene and securing funding for equipment and training. With various forms of political terrorism on the rise both internationally and domestically, SWAT units are vital. The primary problem in establishing such units is gaining public acceptance of the concept and public support for funding. SWAT teams are not necessary for every city. Under mutual aid and assistance agreements, the service of such units can be obtained from neighboring metropolitan areas or, in the case of Federal violations, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A discussion of basic elements of tactical procedures is appended, and the practices of various metropolitan SWAT teams are described.
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism intelligence; Police hostage negotiations training; Police hostage-negotiation units; Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT); Terrorist kidnapping
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.