Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)

​The Bellingham Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team’s purpose is to increase the likelihood of safely resolving critical incidents and has been doing so since the late 1970s / early 1980s, remaining committed to providing quality and professional service to our community and our agency.

Our SWAT team specifically recruits, selects, trains, equips and assigns its members to resolve critical incidents involving a threat to public safety which would otherwise exceed the capabilities of traditional law enforcement first responders and/or investigative units.  Our SWAT team members undergo specialized training in order to gain expertise and necessary skills with concepts and equipment that are commonly used in the performance of their duties.

The SWAT team is a voluntary assignment within the department and members must maintain certain proficiencies in order to remain on the team.  The team operates under strict supervision and guidelines for deployment and currently adheres to the recently recommended guidelines for SWAT teams presented by the American Civil Liberties Union as well as local, state and federal laws and “best practices” as deemed by tactical associations.


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