SWAT – Special Weapons and Tactics
The Mason County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team is a group of specially trained Deputies and Officers tasked with resolving critical incidents. SWAT gets activated to assist with apprehending violent and dangerous felons in the safest way possible by using less than lethal munitions, specialized equipment, and highly trained personnel. Additionally, SWAT provides support upon request to agencies in need of tactical expertise. For example, SWAT has been called upon to assist surrounding jurisdictions with critical incidents that are either prolonged in time or large in size.
SWAT is a regional team which means it is made up of sworn Law Enforcement Officers from agencies within Mason County. The Mason County Sheriff’s Office heads the team and partners with Shelton Police, Washington State Fish and Wildlife, and Squaxin Island Tribal Police Officers. Each member of the team has a robust knowledge of tactics, specialty weapons and equipment that is available to us to tactically deescalate a critical incident. This is accomplished through monthly training that adds up to a minimum of 120 hours per year.
SWAT also has Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) as an integral part of the team which is made up of specially trained paramedics that respond to the scene to provide immediate medical care for anyone in need of during a SWAT mission. The TEMS unit trains with the team and is part of the entry and perimeter elements on missions.
SWAT has an armored vehicle operator team that is assigned to operate, maintain, and train on our armored vehicles. This group is currently made up of Mason County Sheriff’s Office Deputies. The operators drive the armor to the scene and are the first line of defense for SWAT.
SWAT is an additional duty for every member on the team. All members have a primary duty of Patrol, Patrol supervision, or is a paramedic. Each member on SWAT is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each member of SWAT has a high level of dedication and commitment to protecting citizens, the responding units, and anyone else that is involved with a dangerous incident.