Special Weapons and Tactics

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SWAT is an acronym for Special Weapons and Tactics, a specialized unit of law enforcement that responds to high risk tactical incidents.

Trained in the use of specialized equipment and advanced teamwork, SWAT is used to resolve critical incidents with the least amount of force necessary. 

SWAT requires individuals who are:

  • self motivated
  • physically and mentally fit
  • analytical
  • patient
  • dedicated
  • intelligent

The El Cajon Police Department SWAT Team is made up of nearly two dozen dedicated individuals who work selflessly towards the common goal of public safety. The team is comprised of Officers from the Police Department and Paramedics from the Fire Department. This collaboration between police and fire allows for the best use of resources to provide the highest level of tactical service for our community.

The El Cajon Police SWAT Team has been operating since 1988 and it’s membership includes former Chiefs of Police and the current Chief of Police, who was one of the founding members of the Team.

Every member of SWAT must pass through a highly competitive and rigorous testing process in order to be eligible for a position on the Team. Once selected, Team members must successfully pass a rigorous SWAT academy, regardless of their rank or how long they have served with the city.

All members of SWAT serve full time positions with either the Police of Fire Departments. SWAT is considered an adjunct duty, meaning they perform this vital function in addition to their regular duties with the city.

Two specialized teams support the El Cajon Police SWAT Team. The Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is a group of dedicated Reserve Police Officers who volunteer their precious time to assist SWAT. This group of professionals provides logistical support to the team during training evolutions as well as actual call outs and pre-planned operations. Their selfless dedication to SWAT allows team members to focus on their mission.

Tactical Dispatchers are a select group of Police Dispatchers who are trained to handle the unique demands of radio communications during critical incidents. Though trained for SWAT incidents, Tactical Dispatchers are deployed during all critical incidents within the city.

These photos document a recent SWAT. Academy that the El Cajon Police SWAT team conducted. These photos depict a typical training day for the dedicated few who serve on the SWAT Team.