How SWAT and Bomb Units Stay Effective and Keep People Safe
SWAT teams and bomb units are highly trained, and they require specialized equipment to do their jobs safely and effectively. When these teams are called in, they face tense, time-sensitive situations — and seconds matter.
Developed in the 1960s by the Los Angeles Police Department, SWAT teams now exist in 90% of cities with a population of more than 50,000 residents. That translates to around 1,200 police department-coordinated SWAT teams.
Bomb squads are trained to handle and safely dispose of potentially explosive materials, and they deal with more than just intentionally fabricated bombs. A bomb squad may also handle fireworks, dangerous chemical combinations, and accidents involving volatile or combustible materials. These specialized teams are full-time forces, sometimes supplemented by reserve officers, and they work with local law enforcement to keep communities safe.
Having well-organized and easy-to-access equipment in their mobile units makes SWAT teams and bomb units safer and more effective. Let’s consider what the field might look like for these crisis specialists.
What Emerging Scenes Look Like
SWAT stands for Specialized Weapons and Tactics. These teams respond to a variety of dangerous situations. For example, a SWAT team might be called in to a hostage situation, in which innocent people are in a vulnerable position between law enforcement and suspects. These types of situations are rarely clear cut, and they often include rapidly changing environments and many unknowns.
SWAT teams may also be called to assist with crowd control or dispersal during events where a large number of people congregate, including rallies, marches, and sport gatherings. In each of these settings, there’s a real possibility of a riot breaking out. Law enforcement units with specialized training designed to keep crowds safe are sometimes the difference between a peaceful gathering and a dangerous public incident. Other circumstances include active shooter scenarios, barricaded suspects, and counterterrorism situations.
For bomb squads, circumstances can vary broadly. Someone may call in a bomb threat to a school, shopping center, or other populated public location, prompting immediate mobilization, evacuation, and slow, careful implementation of safety protocols. Traffic accidents or job site accidents may also require a bomb squad.
Bomb squads and SWAT teams each have their own specialized tools and equipment, which must be safely transported in the correct quantities and in a neatly organized and accessible fashion.
You’ll find SWAT teams carrying specific equipment such as advanced imaging tools to see where people are inside a building, body armor and shields, and specialized gas. Each tool they carry addresses the safety of the SWAT officer, the people involved in the incident, and bystanders. In addition, SWAT team members use standard law enforcement equipment such as evidence collection kits, first aid medical supplies, and weapons.
Bomb squads use robots that are specifically designed to approach potential — and actual — explosives. They also utilize x-ray equipment, special suiting material to protect their specialists, containment vessels, and much more specialized materials. Incident locations are diverse and often unpredictable, so getting each situation under control quickly and safely is the top priority.
Because of the wide variation of circumstances that SWAT teams and bomb squads encounter, safety, organization, reliability, and quick access to equipment are of the utmost importance. Custom organizational solutions go a long way in helping ensure a safe and effective work environment for these law enforcement units.
Organization and Reliable Storage Complement Specialized Training
In high-pressure situations where circumstances change from moment to moment, being able to access the right tool makes a big difference — not just for efficiency but also for safety. If a barricaded individual suddenly threatens a hostage, officers need to be able to locate, activate, and deploy the correct tool to neutralize the situation with speed and ease.
A custom-built solution such as Extendobed’s Collier Unit (pictured below) — which includes a narrow tool rack with containment caging and a safety screen, a special weapons box, and a small table and bookcase enclosure — can ensure effective deployment, control, and communication in any circumstance. Likewise, Extendobed’s Henderson Bomb Unit (pictured below) features a uniquely configured upper platform with a safety screen and second shelf, an ATF Type-3 day box/explosives box, a locking compartment on the driver’s side, and a locking weapons drawer.
Each Extendobed installation caters directly to each team’s needs and accounts for equipment, chain of custody, and officer and community safety. To learn how a custom Extendobed solution can meet your needs, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.