I’m a 20 year old married college student who’s thinking about what I’m going to do for a living. Going into law enforcement is something I feel is the right thing for me to do. Only about 2 months ago have I been thinking about SWAT. I’ve got about 2 years left of college so I figure I got some time to get in damn good shape (I’m currently a vain bodybuilder). I have a lot of questions that I hope someone can answer for me.

How long would I need to be in law enforcement before getting into SWAT? Are there age and/or bodyweight requirements for it? What does it pay? Are only genetic freaks of strength in SWAT? Are there any t-maggers out there that are in SWAT or know someone in it that can help me out?

I checked out the website for Pavel’s video on SWAT strength training. I plan on buying it eventually once I get that much money together. Is it worth the $300 for 8 videos? Am I going to need a training partner for this because currently I fly solo? Thanks for the help.

I wsa a SWAT officer, Squad leader, and instructor for seven years. First and foremost you need to get on a police force which has a SWAT team: LAPD, Houston, Dade County, Illinois State Police, are a few police departments which have full time SWAT officers. Second, you need to be on patrol and learn the “job”. I would say for at least five years. Third, you should have a proven record of good arrests and smart decision making. Your shooting scores should be in the master range (90%). You should go to shooting schools above and beyond the Academy. You need to be fit and not smoke. Every department has diffrent tests for SWAT officers. My department tests SWAT officers 4 X year. The officers get 1 hr./Day for exercise (paid). Ihere is an intense evaluation process involved in getting into SWAT, and often people don’t make it, so you may never get on SWAT once you join the Department. Follow any program in T-mag, increase your running ability (police agencies still use the 1.5 mile run for fitness testing) and become a cop in a large department that has a full time SWAT team. Your other alternative is to join the military and enter a special forces program: SEALS, Special Forces, Rangers, Delta, Marine Force Recon, all do SWAT type action; but they live it 24/7. So, bad news, if you want to be on a major SWAT team, your looking at at least six years and at least two evaluations (being hired, SWAT evaluations). I hope this helps.

As for training, you will always want to focus on heavy weights and low reps. You need a tremendous amount of strength. Because you will be carrying 45-60lbs in extra gear. I’ve checked out the info on Pavel’s videos. It looks good, but I haven’t seen them. He has a good article about SWAT training in the March 2001 issue of MILO. I seriously encourage you to pick up a copy and read the article. Pavel recommends three exercises that you should be proficient in (pullups, hanging leg raises, one-legged squats). Pavel recommends doing low reps and heavy weight because it will make you strong and not make you sore. Because you must be able to perform at a moment’s notice. And if you did a squat workout that leaves you sore, how are you going to do your job? Just a thought.

Save your money on the videos. Kali gives sage advice on this topic-plan on being a patrol officer for at least 5 years before going to a specialized unit. I’ve been a police officer for 9 years and noticed a few things about our SWAT team: all of the top notch teammembers were top notch patrol officers, it’s just like lifting, you need to get your basics in first. Patrol officers get to do alot of the things you probably only think SWAT guys do-remember patrol is where the rubber meets the road. It will show you what you are made of. Also most of our SWAT guys have a high strength to bodyweight ratio, meaning they are strong but not necessarily real big, oh and they can run all day. If you really want to get into SWAT after you get on a dept, they will send you to the specialized schools you need. If you really want to do yourself a favor start learning some grapplng techniques 2, they will serve you well as an officer. As far as $ get a pay scale for the departments you are interested in, it depends more on the amount of time you have on and your rank than what your function. Hope this helps.

thanks guys for the advice and help. planning on going into the local pd first and going from there.

Damn, you are going to be one of those guys who might be coming to try an arrest an “extremist” like myself someday. My advice to you is, if you ever get an arrest warrant that says Jason Robert Baran on it, you better pack a lunch; because it will be a long day!

my friend told me today that if I’ve done steroids that I won’t be able to pass the lie detector test and can’t become a cop. they havr to know that may cops use so why would they ask that question? anyone out here know the truth behind this?

Heh Scott, ever hear of a guy named Ronnie Coleman?

Jason, Jason, every punk tough guy tells the cops he was going to kick ass and never be taken alive. Invariably the guy with the big mouth is the asshole who can’t stop crying when he’s laying on the floor flex-cuffed. So tonight when the little yellow school bus drops you home from school and your mommy tucks you into your Hitler youth comforter, before you start dreaming your a big tough skinhead; pray to your god that twenty street hardend cops, who get paid to workout, who have delt with real criminals every day, alone, on the street, who shoot master and last missed the kill zone on fake or live targets when your mommy was breast feeding you, who each have: body armor, nomex gloves and flight suits, two flashbangs, HK MP5’s, .45 cal handguns cocked and locked and an average of over 100 raids on blow hards. . .last year, pray that these guys don’t have a warrant for you because the next thing you’ll be doing is crying into your carpet and begging to rat on the other members of your Youth Group. Suprise, Speed, and Violence of action. . .

mike, of course i’ve heard of ronnie coleman. i was just wondering if the PD would ask if i’ve ever used steroids if it would prohibit me from being a cop.