MVPD’s Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) is one the best equipped and well trained teams in the county. MVPD SWAT, in partnership with the City of Los Altos Police Department, make the 20 person regional team. Since its inception in 1989, the team has handled a variety of incidents, including confronting heavily-armed criminals; performing hostage rescues, high risk arrests; and entering armored or barricaded buildings.
SWAT has also provided crowd control at labor and political demonstrations, and personal protection to visiting dignitaries, including support for the United States Secret Service. SWAT is equipped with specialized firearms including sub-machine guns, assault rifles, breaching shotguns, sniper rifles, riot control agents, and stun grenades. They have specialized equipment including heavy body armor, ballistic shields, entry tools, armored vehicles and advanced night vision.
SWAT is one of the most challenging and sought after collateral assignments at MVPD. SWAT members are highly trained and experts in the most advanced tactics used in law enforcement. SWAT applicants undergo rigorous selection and training. Applicants must pass stringent physical agility, oral, and psychological testing to ensure they are not only fit enough but also psychologically suited for tactical operations. After an officer has been selected, the potential member must pass a two week SWAT school that will make him a fully qualified SWAT operator.
Officers are trained in marksmanship for the continued development of accurate shooting skills. Other training that could be given to potential members includes training in explosives, sniper-training, defensive tactics, first-aid, handling K9 units, rappelling and roping techniques and the use of specialized weapons and equipment. They may also be trained specifically in the handling and use of special ammunition such as bean bags, flash bang grenades, tasers, and the use of crowd control methods, and special non-lethal munitions.