The Paducah Police Department recognizes that the utilization of a highly trained, highly skilled police tactical unit has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of flight, resisting arrest, evidence destruction, injury or loss of life to citizens, police officers, and suspects. The primary responsibility of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) is to respond to and resolve high-risk, critical incidents in a tactical manner that is designed to reduce injury or prevent the loss of life to citizens, police officers, and suspects. The SWAT team has the ability to resolve major incidents with minimal use of force, personal injury, and property damage. Armed and barricaded subjects, high-risk search warrants, and arrest warrants for dangerous criminals generally garner the response of the SWAT team.
The decision to call the SWAT team into action is based on a decision-making matrix. The matrix, developed by the Legal & Liability Risk Management Institute and approved by the Kentucky League of Cities, requires police to consider the type of crime, the criminal history of the person being sought, and what type of weapons may be accessible to the person before making the decision to use the level of force a SWAT team may apply. Each criteria is scored, and based on the score, police may or may not utilize the team.
SWAT was deployed twice in 2018. One time was for a shooting suspect who possessed drugs and weapons. The other time involved assisting another agency in the apprehension of a murder suspect. SWAT was deployed five times during 2017, two of which were to assist police agencies outside of Paducah.
To be selected for the SWAT team, officers are required to pass a higher level of physical fitness standard than regular officers, pass advanced firearms qualifications, and demonstrate the ability to handle themselves in the most stressful types of police incidents.
The SWAT team trains twice monthly and usually attends a three-day training course once a year at a regional military training facility in Kentucky. They also spend additional time on the firing range and are on-call 24 hours a day. The team meets national standards by training 16 hours a month. The SWAT team received more than 200 hours of specialized training in 2018.
For SWAT related questions or to schedule a presentation, please 270-444-8548.