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Training the SWAT Trainer: Legal Mandates and Practical Suggestions for Improving Police Tactical Performance

NCJ Number
Tomas C. Mijares; Marcus L. Wall
Date Published
196 pages
This is a manual for police instructors, particularly those who train tactical (SWAT) officers or any other police personnel in the use of force.
The introductory chapter presents a historical overview of the development of police training, which has become even more critical as criminal codes have expanded to deal with complex issues and the populations served have become more diverse. The need for specialized, continuous tactical training is emphasized. The stated theme throughout the manual is "the warning that any technique, tactic, or new technology taught by an instructor must be applied in a manner consistent with existing organizational policy, State and Federal legislation, and relevant case law." The second chapter addresses the roles of the SWAT instructor as teacher, coach, researcher, and historian; and it outlines the characteristics of a good instructor. The third chapter focuses on the establishment of learning goals and objectives, as well as the writing of lesson plans. Chapter 4 is entitled "Engaging the Student." The topics covered are the instructor's role and the role of the national, regional, and State association of tactical police officers. These organizations can have a part in the learning process by providing innovations, a stimulating learning environment, and an appeal to personal and unit pride in outstanding performance. Chapter 5 "Presenting the Material," considers the styles and techniques for presenting information in a logical and understandable form that will be sufficiently engaging for students to retain the material presented. Some practical exercises that use various instructional techniques are described. The six remaining chapters address training aids and facilities, the need for continuous training and evaluation, documentation, adhering to standards of the profession, and training in defensive tactics. Several of the chapters present relevant legal cases. Appended sample lesson plans and listings of police professional associations, a bibliography, and a subject index