I was not on a swat team but when my PD (Anchorage Police Dept) started theirs I did the Original Rifle training for them. They had a try out of some sort for the members. I was offered the Sniper Slot but I couldn't accept because I would have to give up my slot on the bomb squad witch I wouldnt do. I still continued to train with them along the lines of explosive entries & such
Our swat team (we called the CRT) didnt work partol, but were used for details like steakouts, working hookers, serving warrants, etc. while not on call outs.
It is not quite like you see on TV. They were offen called out just to be on stand by in case something went bad. Most of their calls they would just set up and and remain in postition. Regardless of weather.
Another Reason why I like the bomb squad, on call outs, we would sit and drink coffee until needed. Staying warm. On Dignetary (sp) they would set up as security, We would set with the SS detail and bs. Not near as boring.
They say that combat is 90% bordom and 10% terror, (thats the way it was in Vietnam). SWAT or CRT is 99.9% bordom and .5% terror. Bomb squads have 90% goofing off 10% terror.
Anchorage has between 275 & 300 K people. So some larger cities may be differant.
I retired in 94 so things might have changed a bit. Now I live in a smaller community in Wyoming. Or sheriff's department dosnt have enough people to make a swat team but I dont think they need it. Don't know about small towns in other areas.
Hope that helps some.
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071