The Benton Police Department established the SWAT Team in 2000 as a response to an increase in “special threat” situations in Benton. The members of the specially trained team are faced with varied, multi-faceted missions. They respond to dangerous situations that include barricaded subjects, serving high-risk warrants and the arrest of potentially violent suspects.
Selection for the SWAT Team is a difficult process. All applicants must be sworn Benton Police Department officers. Initial tryouts are physically and mentally demanding. Applicants must be agile, physically fit and capable of accomplishing multiple tasks under extremely stressful conditions. Once every challenge is met, the applicant is interviewed before a review board consisting of SWAT Team members and the SWAT Commander. Of the numerous applicants, only a handful are selected to attend the SWAT school held in Camden.
The training and learning process does not end with graduation from SWAT School. As an active member of the SWAT Team, the new SWAT officers continue to train and further enhance their capabilities and expertise. To remain active on the Team, officers must qualify quarterly with higher averages than no-SWAT officers in weapons and physical proficiency.
The SWAT Team maintains a higher standard of integrity than is generally expected of others because so much is expected of them.