A list of sources for stats seen in the animated short film about S.W.A.T., for Peace Officer.


In 1964, S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons and Tactics) is formed.

Sources:, Mitchel P. Roth, Historical Dictionary of Law Enforcement (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001); and Theodore H. Blau, Psychological Services for Law Enforcement (Wiley, 1994).

By 1975, there were ~500 S.W.A.T. teams nationwide.

Source: Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces (PublicAffairs, 2014).

In 1999, all 50 states have S.W.A.T.

Source: Rutherford Institute report: SWAT Team Mania: The War Against the American Citizen

Today: S.W.A.T. has increased 15,000% (from the late 1970s to today).

Source: Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop

Who has S.W.A.T.?

90% of U.S. cities over 50K utilize S.W.A.T.

80% of cities with 25K-50K have S.W.A.T.

Even towns with less than 5 thousand people have S.W.A.T.

Source: Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop, p.210

And 2010 US census:

  •   Middleburg, Pennsylvania pop. 1,363

  •   Mt. Orab, Ohio pop. 2,701

  •   Butler, Missouri pop. 4,201

7% of all S.W.A.T. deployments are for hostage, barricade or active shooter scenarios. 80% of all S.W.A.T. raids are to execute search warrants.


ACLU’s 2011-2012 report  

Washington Post

Time magazine

Military grade weaponry now available to police departments: Grenade launchers,
 M16 submachine guns
, sniper rifles, military bayonets, Humvees and other armored vehicles.

Sources: Megan Twohey, “SWAT Under Fire,” National Journal (January 1, 2000);

Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop, p. 209.

Since the ’70’s, S.W.A.T. deployment has increased more than 937%


Sources:  Radley Balko, Rise of the Warrior Cop; and study from Peter Kraska (Criminologist at University of Eastern Kentucky) from 1970-1995

There are approximately 50,000 S.W.A.T. raids in the United States annually, and there are more than 100 S.W.A.T. raids a day.

Source: Radley Balko, “Once a town gets a SWAT team you want to use it,” Salon (July 13, 2013).