Since 1995, the Murrieta Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) has provided a ready response to situations that are beyond the capabilities of normally equipped and trained department personnel. SWAT team members’ duties include serving high risk search and arrest warrants, performing hostage rescues, subduing barricaded suspects and engaging heavily-armed criminals.
The officers assigned to the Murrieta SWAT team have undergone special training and have access to specialized weaponry, surveillance devices and equipment beyond standard issue police gear. They are equipped with specialized firearms, breaching equipment, riot control agents, less lethal options and specialized K-9 teams. They also utilize heavy body armor, ballistic shields, entry tools, tactical robots and armored vehicles.
Murrieta SWAT applicants undergo a rigorous selection process. Emphasis is placed on not only tactics but physical fitness. Physical fitness is stressed to ensure an officer will be able to withstand the rigors of tactical operations. They must pass stringent physical fitness and agility evaluations, marksmanship qualifications and teamwork assessments along with scenario and oral 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 attend and pass a SWAT academy in order to make them a fully qualified SWAT operator.
All SWAT team members must meet and maintain a very high physical fitness standard. To ensure this, team members are required to pass a quarterly physical fitness test. The Murrieta Police Department’s SWAT team members continuously undergo tactical training to keep up with and maintain state and national SWAT standards. SWAT team members also provide specialized training to department personnel to better equip them to handle dangerous and potentially deadly situations.
The SWAT team is a collateral duty assignment for all Murrieta SWAT members. Officers, Corporals, Sergeants and Paramedic/Fire Fighters assigned to the team also work their primary assignments in patrol, K-9, detective bureau, traffic division and local Murrieta fire stations.
The Murrieta Police Department and the Hemet Police Department maintain a combined regional SWAT team. The teams continuously train together and respond as one to tactical operations in both cities or other areas of Riverside County as needed or requested.
The Murrieta Police Department’s SWAT team is comprised of a SWAT Commander (Lieutenant), a SWAT Team Leader (Sergeant), (2) two man sniper teams, (12) tactical operators and (4) Tactical Paramedics from the Murrieta Fire Department.
Lieutenant Tony Conrad
SWAT Team Leader
Sergeant Phil Gomez