Snyder: Swat statistics


Infographic: SWAT deployment statistics

Stephen Snyder

SWAT teams came into use during the 1980s as the special operations wing of police departments. They were typically used in active shooter and hostage situations. Since that time, their deployment purposes have changed drastically, as have their practices. With no federal oversight, the police have become increasingly militarized.

Government programs 1028 and 1033 have allowed the Department of Defense to issue excess military equipment to local police departments. These donations include, but are not limited to: mine resistant armored vehicles, assault rifles and ammunition.

From 2008-2012 FBI reports 400 annual “justifiable police homicides.”

No government effort is made to keep records on “unjustifiable” police homicides.

In 2011-12, 62 percent of SWAT team deployments were for the purposes of drug searches.

In 2011-12, 79 percent  of SWAT team deployments were for the purposes of executing search

From the 1980s-2000 SWAT deployments have increased from 3,000-45,000 annually

“No knock” raids performed by SWAT teams present higher risk to civilians as well as the officers that perform them.

The trend of police militarization presents a risk to officers but more importantly the citizens they have sworn to protect and serve. Federal oversight is needed to control law enforcement and hold police forces accountable.

To read columnist Snyder’s full piece on swat teams, click here.