Posted on August 14, 2012
LAPD Chief Darryl F. Gates was credited with developing the first SWAT (initially called the “Special Weapons Attack Team”) unit in the late 1960s. Agencies across the country saw the potential in the specialized unit and were quick to follow suit.
In the early days, SWAT equipment often meant little more than OD green military surplus store fatigues and gas masks passed down from the National Guard. Today’s Special Weapons and Tactics uniforms offer countless variations and technological advances. Capt. Chris Peterson, leader of Lincoln (Neb.) PD’s 15-man SWAT unit, sees to it that his officers are assigned new inventory and he rotates or replaces worn items on an as-needed bases.