SWAT Teams: Explosive Face-Offs with America's Deadliest Criminals

Overview

When Charles Whitman sprayed bullets in a brutal killing spree from the heights of the University of Texas clock tower in 1966, he single-handedly made history by dashing the security of millions and changing law enforcement forever. In the wake of this horrifying event, SWAT - Special Weapons and Tactics - teams were born. Since that time, such desperate, bloody face-offs with police have steadily increased, making SWAT an invaluable and necessary part of law enforcement. Captain Snow, author of the acclaimed ...

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Overview

When Charles Whitman sprayed bullets in a brutal killing spree from the heights of the University of Texas clock tower in 1966, he single-handedly made history by dashing the security of millions and changing law enforcement forever. In the wake of this horrifying event, SWAT - Special Weapons and Tactics - teams were born. Since that time, such desperate, bloody face-offs with police have steadily increased, making SWAT an invaluable and necessary part of law enforcement. Captain Snow, author of the acclaimed Protecting Your Life, Home, and Property, and a police officer with over 25 years experience, delivers to the reader the immediacy of actual SWAT events - including both the notorious and the bizarre. We get a chilling glimpse into the desperate, twisted mind of the hostage taker - often hovering precariously between violence and suicide - and witness the brilliant, life-saving strategies SWAT commanders put into action to stop them. As Captain Snow demonstrates, whether intervening during a tension-filled hostage showdown or serving an arrest warrant to a heavily armed drug lord, SWAT teams are, in general, uniquely prepared to handle the most volatile and life-threatening police situations with poise, speed, and - when necessary - deadly force. From the unnerving events in Waco to the thousands of successes every year, Snow analyzes what works and doesn't work in a SWAT team. When the smoke clears, we find at the heart of this book the inspiring story of professionals who have dedicated their lives to saving others. Captain Snow gives us the real story behind the Hollywood image - at once exciting and sobering - of this relatively new and increasingly vital branch of law enforcement.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Special Weapons and Tactics teams were created in response to the Texas Tower massacre in 1966, when a rifleman in Austin shot 46 people, 15 fatally. They are now a feature of almost every big-city police force, made up of snipers, hostage negotiators and reconnaissance scouts. Indianapolis police officer Snow (Protecting Your Life, Home and Property) here covers aspects of SWAT work, discussing problems like coordinating intelligence in a command post, using psychologists in special cases and negotiating with hostage-takers. He lists the attributes of a good SWAT officer: he or she is a team player, emotionally stable, highly intelligent, physically strong and a crack shot. Snow stresses that a SWAT assault must have the elements of surprise, shock and violence and can be regarded a success if nobody is killed. In his informative volume, Snow presents dozens of instances from across the nation of triumphs and failures. Photos. (June)
Booknews
Proceedings of the May 1995 workshop, presenting 52 papers by 92 authors and co-authors, with sections on composite connections, special connections, design methods, modeling of connections, frame behavior, cyclic response, design standards, state of practice, trends in Australia, and current research needs for connections in steel structures. Subjects include influence of structural frame behavior on joint design, seismic loading of moment end-plate connections, and finite element modeling of partially restrained beam- to-girder connections, with much material on semi-rigid connections, design code criteria, and connections for composite construction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306452666
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 5/16/1996
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Captain Robert L. Snow is presently head of the Homicide Branch of the Indianapolis Police Department and has been a police officer in Indianapolis for over 30 years. During this time he has worked as a field officer, field sergeant, field lieutenant, field captain, Coordinator for the Field Training Officer Program, Commander of the Planning and Research Branch, Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Police, Police Department Executive Officer, and Captain of Detectives. He is the acclaimed author of STOPPING A STALKER; FAMILY ABUSE; SWAT TEAMS; and PROTECTING YOUR LIFE, HOME AND PROPERTY; and has contributed articles to a wide variety of publications, including Reader’s Digest, the Writer, Action Digest, the National Enquirer, the Saint Magazine, Law and Order, and Police, among others. Captain Snow graduated summa cum laude from Indiana University with degrees in criminal justice and psychology. He lives with his wife Melanie, a narcotics detective, in Indianapolis.
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Table of Contents

1 Why Have a SWAT Team? 1
2 Qualities and Selection of SWAT Team Members 19
3 Snipers 35
4 Intelligence and Planning 51
5 Command Post Operations 71
6 Discipline and Teamwork 81
7 Equipment 99
8 Training 123
9 Perimeters and Security 145
10 Hostages and Hostage Negotiations 157
11 Site Assault 181
12 Mobile Threats and Hijackings 203
13 High-Risk Warrant Service 219
14 Interagency Cooperation 233
15 Some Failures of SWAT 249
16 The Many Successes of SWAT 273
17 The Future of SWAT 289
References 293
Index 297
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 7, 2013

    Captain Robert L. Snow gives great insight into what SWAT teams

    Captain Robert L. Snow gives great insight into what SWAT teams are really like in this book. He gives chilling details of actual hostage situations and standoffs. He tells what a police officer’s life is like and the problems that they have to deal with like media and victims’ families when things do not turn out well. I like how he gives the reasons why we need swat teams and then goes into some of the tactics that they use to neutralize targets. This book was very informative and once I started to read it I had a hard time being able to put it down. I did a ethnography on swat teams and this book was a great help because it gave us real facts into the teams and what they do and also the pressures that a lot of them have going into situations. It was also helpful because it made it so that I could ask them legitimate questions that weren’t just boilerplate questions. Overall this is a good book to read if you are interested in law enforcement.

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