Bill Siuru, Ph.D., PE
Law enforcement, including S.W.A.T. teams, are under ever increasing scrutiny by administrators, the media and the public in general. Thus, complete and accurate records are vital in order to address any queries or concerns with accurate details.
Teams must also manage their equipment, including firearms, munitions, vehicles, and other miscellaneous items, so that they know the status of each, such as being in-service, under repair, requiring repair, or need to be replaced. And, of course, there is a need for financial data for budgets and general accountability. Up-to-date information is needed on personnel assigned to these units. Also, after action reports on particular incidents can help explain what went right, what went wrong and identify further training which might be needed. Finally, teams must prepare for future operations, including detailed information on locations where potential S.W.A.T. operations might take place.
All of this adds up to lots of reports and paperwork which can consume time better spent fighting and preventing crime. In response to this need, L.E.A. Data Technologies has developed its S.W.A.T. Management Program to help make the job easier and less time-consuming. Like all of the company’s software programs, it was originally developed by a retired veteran, Detective David A. Broomfield, who has 28 years of experience as a police officer and crime analyst. It includes extensive input from other patrol officers and detectives who also have years of experience and practical insight. Four years were spent researching the information and working with S.W.A.T. teams across the country to beta test the program before they offered it for sale.
The S.W.A.T. Management Program incorporates four different components associated with supervising S.W.A.T. operations. These include 1) Reporting on S.W.A.T. incidents; 2) managing S.W.A.T. equipment; 3) tracking S.W.A.T. team officers; and 4) site assessments where potential future operations might take place.
This section’s screens capture detailed information about a S.W.A.T. incident or planned operation, including “after action” reporting. There are 17 different screens to capture all the information the program tracks, starting with where and when it took place to when and where officers were debriefed. Times, along with actions or events which occurred during the incident, can be used to quickly create an exact timeline of what took place and when. Another screen captures information on each officer who participated, as well as the number of regular, overtime and comp time hours each officer worked and what their assignment was during the incident.
Information on the suspect includes the types of force used or threatened, and weapons the suspect used or threatened to use. Likewise, there is information on the different types of force the S.W.A.T. team employed with each type of weapon and equipment used, along with the particular ordnance which was expended, the number of rounds expended and who expended them. A notes area allows the capture of unlimited details about each item, including detailed information about suspects, witnesses and others involved in the incident. Also included are injuries, how they were injured and treated, as well details about damages incurred. If snipers were involved, the software captures details like sniper positioning, snipers’ names, their primary duty (sniper, spotter, etc.), firearms used, and details on action taken by each sniper. Finally, what took place which terminated the incident and the final disposition of the suspect are documented. After action comments include the highlights of the incident, what can be improved upon, and recommendations for further training. There is ample room for text about these three topics.
This section covering S.W.A.T. equipment is broken down into four components – firearms, munitions and supplies, vehicles, and general miscellaneous equipment. The current status of each item in the team’s inventory will fall into four categories:
- Active: currently assigned to an officer or a location;
- Inactive: not assigned, on the shelf, in stock, ready to be assigned;
- Off Line: being serviced or repaired; and
- Disposed Of: no longer in the team’s possession – details on where, when and how it was disposed.
The status of each item includes description, where assigned, complete service and repair histories, and associated costs. Vehicle information includes where it is assigned along with complete service and repair logs, including costs involved. All munitions and supplies and special serialized ordnance rounds (flash bangs and stingball rounds) are tracked for possible reporting to the ATF. Early warning alerts let you know when items are scheduled to be re-ordered, serviced or need to be replaced.
This section allows tracking all of the officers associated with the S.W.A.T. team. This includes their individual personnel records, special training received and photos. It also includes weapons and other equipment assigned to them.
This section contains information associated with locations within your jurisdiction where you could possibly have to respond to incidents so that your team is prepared for the worst-case scenarios. Site assessments are conducted on locations such as schools, banks, government buildings, and other facilities which have a high potential for incidents requiring S.W.A.T. operations. This information is stored before you need it, saving valuable time when the incident occurs and, possibly, even lives.
This section also contains 11 different screens covering barriers and hazards which you may have to deal with; utilities which could cause problems and where they are located; access points; staging areas; evacuation plans; and streets, roads, businesses, and other locations which might have to be closed. There are screens which give key contacts at each site and details about the security which is in place there which may be helpful to your team. Files and documents from other applications, as well as photos and diagrams providing more details, can be attached.
All software includes access to on-screen “HELP” from every screen and free technical assistance is available during office hours. Law enforcement agencies can obtain a detailed demonstration and training CD. The S.W.A.T. Management Program’s price tag comes in at $2,000.00.
For more information, contact:
L.E.A. Data Technologies
14290 SE Lyon Street
Happy Valley, OR 97086
Web site: http://leadatatech.com/
Bill Siuru is a retired USAF colonel. He has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University. He has been writing about automotive, aviation and technology subjects for many years.