The country’s first official SWAT team started in the late 1960s in Los Angeles. By 1975, there were approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by the criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13% of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80%.

The number of raids conducted by SWAT-like police units has grown accordingly. In the 1970s, there were just a few hundred a year; by the early 1980s, there were some 3,000 a year. In 2005 (the last year for which Dr. Kraska collected data), there were approximately 50,000 raids.

A number of federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including the Fish & Wildlife Service, NASA, the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the Department of the Interior. In 2011, the Department of Education’s SWAT team bungled a raid on a woman who was initially reported to be under investigation for not paying her student loans

This is a function of the idiotic drug wars and a judicial system that has no balls to stop this. And the more you read about these clowns the more you realize you are witnessing a modern version of the Keystone Kops. Unfortunately, they are armed to the teeth and trigger-happy.

  1. Tim says:

    Hey! How come Vishnu looks like a dude in that pic?

  2. Gwad his own self says:

    Not vishnu, that’s a human centipede.

  3. B. Dog says:

    Yeah well, there are some dirty jobs that they are handy for.

  4. bobbo, we think with words, but only remember images says:

    Well, in any dangerous line of work, ie: any that interfaces with the American Public in their homes, you just can’t be too wary.

    I always wonder what the SWAT Team does when they aren’t swatting? My impression is they don’t “do” anything else but swat? How many towns have that volume of home intrusion events to justify such an overhead? What could these cops be doing instead during their down time?? etc.

    I would like to see some “stats” rather than anecdotes. How many people are now killed when serving a warrant and so forth under SWAT compared to before??

    The LINK is a good read. Home Owner did a good job shooting the cops who broke in. Like to see stats on that too. How many homeowners offering NO RESISTENCE are killed===by cops, by SWAT, by unopposed home invaders.

    ……….or does it make any difference at all???

    I’m going to visit my local Po Po Chief next week and ask him why local cops are not enforcing Ca PC 602.3 regarding hold over lodgers in a home owners own home—as opposed to stand apart rental units. Seems to me the “real” control over local Po Po activities is…… “the community?”


  5. Dallas says:

    Agree. SWAT teams are also a sort of title promotion for cops that excel and given a vest and beige tee shirt. The regular cops can be fat asses to respond to traffic accidents and drive around in usually, safe areas and then moon light at grocery stores.

    • Tim says:

      Funny you should say that. For once in my life, I did not care because I was well herbally self-medicated but I happend to be the first in the halted line to witness a car in a ditch getting winched out but spent the next twenty minutes watching the ‘cop’ inspect the front bumper and having the owner remove some sod. “That is what the median is for, jagg off!” I exclamed, but he did not hear me or respond because he was like ten feet away.

  6. mojo says:

    Norks. Gotta be.

  7. dusanmal says:

    “…This is a function of the idiotic drug wars and a judicial system that has no balls to stop this…” – sorry almighty JCD, but idiotic drug wars have as much to do with this as assassination of Ferdinand with the start of WWI or Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction with the invasion of the same. If not for convenient drug war Progressives in need of militarized police to maintain their BigPowerfulGoverment and related intimidation of the general population would have found some other excuse, even if such needed to be invented.
    Militarized police is direct consequence of Progressive BigPowerfulGoverment. Nothing else. The only way to end it is smaller, weak, poor, limited Government. Nothing else.

    • MikeN says:

      Yea, I don’t think the war on drugs has anything to do with giving the Department of Education weapons.

      Answer would be more guns. Armed man is a citizen, not a subject.

    • Jesus H. C! says:


      SWAT is a direct response to a TELEVISION SHOW! S.W.A.T. was an Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg production. The show began just about the same time the first real SWAT teams started forming (which most of the law enforcement experts saw as a need due to the 68 DEMOCRAT convention – which had turned into a riot).

      And guess who controls television? That’s right! Hollywood does. Your friendly nazi-esque LIBERALS!

      Seriously though. PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF OBAMA’S ASS and maybe you can think a little more clearly.

      Can’t remember the show? Here’s a link:

  8. “Warrier” is not a word. “Warrior” is.

    • MikeN says:

      Hehe, I thought it was deliberate. Not at war, just a warry cop. Not just warry but warrier.

      • Larry--bobbo's alliterative co poster (I help him with all his Haikus as he can count to seven but fails to count the syllables))ut only remember images says:

        Well!…….. they should still be wary. ….. and not tarry ….. and take the amphibious unit as to not get trapped on the ferry …. and to firmly install butt shield when confronting the fairies ….. and ….. give up not a nary bail jumper to the Dog …..

        There’s more…..

        So sarry.

        Larry Marry Carrie.

        (Gag Me)

        • Tim says:

          That is so profoundary alliterational that I think you might be sick. Meet me behind the hot-water pipes at the third alley behind the Shotted-Dog and bring a lighter.

          • bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

            Hey TIMMMAYYY!!!–Guess how many beer slushes I had to make me think that was worth posting?

            As always—use whole numbers.

          • Tim says:

            Thirteen. Twelve previous attempts and one extra trip back to the store with the confidence that the trial ‘n’ error datum on a drinkable v. ruined slushy-beer will let one get it just right this time!

  9. Mark says:

    This is a logical extension of the warrior cult bullshit that Americans have been buying into for years and inflicting on the rest of the world. The chickens are coming home to roost, yo.

    • Anonymous Coward says:

      I’d call it the logical result of the federal government showering free equipment and training on any federal/state/county/city/special district police department willing to take the free hand out.

      And once you have the training and equipment, it’s only logical that bureaucrats will insist on the training and equipment be used under any pretext in case it’s a requirement for the federal government to justify raining more resources on them.

      • Tim says:

        That works. Save that the’re such dunces to be laughed out of boyscouts, and all. Maybe, they just want to be loved?

  10. Anonymous Coward says:

    I read the source article. Why the hell did anybody at *NASA* figure they needed a SWAT team??? o_O

    Question: Given that the schools everywhere have implemented a “zero tolerance” policy of expulsion for anything that can be even vaguely linked to guns (shaped poptarts, stick figure drawings, 2nd Amendment shirts, tiny toy guns for tiny action figures, etc), why does the Department of Education have a SWAT unit with real guns? Shouldn’t it be composed exclusively with conflict resolution counselors (or whatever the f— they’re called)?

  11. msbpodcast says:

    I am waiting for the mall down the road a piece to have their Paul Blarts, driving those glorified golf carts with [security] painted on the front backwards, to form their own SWAT team to insure the safety of anybody who shops elsewhere.

    The biggest threat to our life, liberty and freedom is the damn flabby, over-caffeinated, lily-white, trigger-happy, doughnut-eating police who jump out of their skin every damn time a black man walks by.

    Is there anything more useless than that show COPS?

    YES!!! The attitude in engenders amongst the cops.

    They started believing that they had anything to do with the plummeting crime rate.

    • Tim says:

      For real. But yet I still get askeerd when a black guy comes around and ax me if I be colorblind because I know he been trained on the inside to fux me up and all.

  12. Rick says:

    Cops love the camouflage, the weapons. they get to play soldier with our safety.

    • Tim says:

      Don’t worry, you’ll see them. Shoot them in the crotch because no matter how much armor, it still hurts to get kicked in the crotch with a shotgun.

  13. Tim says:

    Not that I give a flying fuck because I’m kinda a cat guy but there is this:

    Well, they probably just stomp cats but I’ve implanted contact-explosives in them beforehand because I’m a sick bastard.

  14. Tim says:

    I just beat the internet — the last boss is really hard.

  15. Tim says:

    Those guys are like one crappy console-port: No ability to change the parameters based on what it’s being run on (or over), dumbasfuck AI, clunky aiming with toggle-to-zoom resulting in walking around with the thing stuck to your eye inducing nauseating through-the-straw FOV, input lag resulting in one round turning into 300 (and still missing the target), and shooting dogs to ‘level up’. — Seriously, dudes. What’s with the dogs? Is it that dog slobber might cause malfunction of that bullet-stopping Frag-Rite garb you find so vogue?

  16. Radkey Balko, a nutcase usually, wrote a book on this.

  17. Will says:

    Just came back from Boston. Met and talked to the MBTA (of Charlie fame) SWAT team. Wasn’t brave enough to ask them if they were called out for someone stiffing the fare box.

  18. Will says:

    Just came back from Boston. Met and talked to a couple of members of the MBTA (of Charlie and Kingston Trio fame) SWAT team. Wasn’t brave enough to ask them if they were called out for someone stiffing the fare box.

  19. sargasso_c says:

    Paramilitary police are responsible for genocide and political assassinations from Bosnia to Baghdad. They operate outside of the military and the judiciary.

  20. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    This link is about a raid that occurred in 2008 in Maryland. A gang would send marijuana via private couriers to homes and then recover the drugs before the homeowners arrived. The county sheriff raided the home of a mayor by using a SWAT team. A no-knock warrant was unavailable in this county:,_Maryland_mayor%27s_residence_drug_raid

    Two of the mayor’s dogs were killed. It used to be that if a law enforcement officer’s gun was discharged, each and every bullet fired had to be accounted for. These SWAT raids seem to lessen those standards.

    2nd item: During the 2012 Republican National Convention, downtown Tampa received many “weaponized” (I call them) golf carts. They were black with what appeared to be gun mounts or holsters on the side. Wish I had taken a photo for msbpodcast, but I probably would have been in trouble.

    • Tim says:

      It seems to be priority one kill the pets. Big ones, little ones, cats,….

      I will never believe that this has anything to do with ‘officer’ saftey during the raids; It more likely has something to do with those pets remembering the sent of those goons/frightening stimulus and later potentially *strongly alerting* on them out in public when they don’t have their balls stapped on.

  21. pam says:

    I had a relative living with me who did not show up for a DUI charge in court. He had moved out of state, and I ended up with a SWAT team surrounding my house at 6am and just about breaking my door down while I was in my jammies eating Cheerios.

    One of the guys started freaking out when he saw my dog’s dishes, screaming to the others over and over “THERE’S A DOG HERE!!” Thank god she was at my GFs house that day or they probably would have shot her.

    The element of surprise and tremendous show of force was of course necessary for something so horrendous as not showing up to court for what amounts to a severe traffic ticket.

  22. Hmeyers says:

    Years ago, at 7 am or so someone was knocking way fucking hard on the front door of my apartment.

    I went down to see WTF was going on and answered the door.

    There were 2 cops there askng for some dude that didn’t show for court or something.

    I was rather displeased and grumpy and after inquirying what this was about, I helped them somewhat politely (but not entirely) understand the difference between “Apartment B” and “Apartment D”.

    But I lived in a town of population 75,000 — different rules than large metro areas where cops sometimes seem like they are entirely unsupervised.

  23. Ben says:

    We go out. We hit people in the mouth ! 🙂

  24. Concerned says:

    So have home owners been suing the police departments? Why is it ok for them to knock down the door blast the house with concussion grenades and kill your pets to serve a search warrant?

    This is excessive force. The officers should be put on desk duty and the departments should be fined big dollars.

    I get that they need to use force if they are at risk but as seen from some of those videos there was no threat just Commando cops doing whatever they want.


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