Special Weapons and Tactics team members are chosen from cooperating law enforcement agencies throughout the county and are always on call to respond. Their mission is to bring a peaceful resolution to any potentially violent situation where loss of life or extreme property damage may be a factor. SWAT members are handpicked after demonstrating proficiency in a variety of tests including strength and agility, climbing, weapons use, and marksmanship. After selection, rigorous ongoing training continues to ensure individual skills are always current and members remain in top-notch condition. Members of the team are cross-trained within each unit to better utilize their skills and fill in a position if a member is injured or not available.
SWAT has two separate units within the team, the Tactical Negotiation Team (TNT) and Tactical Team. TNT members are trained in proven communications skills to defuse a situation and prevent hostile and/or deadly actions from escalating. Their techniques, field tested by personal communications specialists, are very effective and the first course of action the SWAT commander relies upon before physical force is considered. Although the Tactical Team is always on-scene and ready when the order is given, the TNT never stops or gives up. If communications fail or TNT is not successful in "talking a situation down", the tactical team is activated, as the negotiations continue.