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The Management of Police Specialized Tactical Units, Second Edition

***** The Management of Police Specialized Tactical Units, Second Edition. By Tomas C. Mijares, Ph.D., and Ronald M. McCarthy; published by Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, Ltd., (Web); 308 pages; $44.95 (softcover).

 A distraught man barricades himself and a hostage in an apartment building filled with residents and threatens to harm them if authorities intervene. This is not an average police call, but it is a normal one for officers assigned to special weap­ons and tactics (SWAT) units.

With The Management of Police Specialized Tactical Units, authors Tomas C. Mijares and Ronald McCarthy have taken the SWAT training textbook to a new level. They offer pertinent instruction and an additional resource to those responsible for educating either law enforcement trainees or seasoned tactical training officers.

The authors address training from historical, organizational, and practical perspectives. They provide well-documented information on why tactical units were originated, how they have progressed, and what the future holds, plus numerous case studies that demonstrate how things can go awry if units fail to plan properly or if procedures are not followed. Further, the authors cite several examples of case law with direct ramifications for SWAT units. Making the text still more useful are answers to “What if?” questions.

Several chapters are devoted specifically to the selection and training of SWAT personnel, and Mijares and McCarthy also discuss the equipment needed for safe and effective operations. Their prior experience on SWAT teams lends great credibility to their ability to expound on police specialized tactical concepts.

The Management of Police Specialized Tactical Units is well-written and thoroughly covers tactical operations for the police officer and addresses internal concerns for the law enforcement manager. This book is intended for those looking to get into the law enforcement profession and those who aspire to join a specialized tactical unit. However, security professionals may also find the information interesting.

Reviewer: Brian L. Royster, Ed.D, is a detective sergeant first class with the Solid Hazardous Waste Unit of the New Jersey State Police. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy 214th Session and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Command Institute for Law Enforcement Executives. He is a member of ASIS International.