The Gilbert Police Department's first tactical team, known as the Emergency Response Unit or ERU was founded in 1993 in response to the town's rapid growth. At its inception, the premise was simple: Assemble a team of highly motivated individuals, provide them with state-of-the-art equipment, and extensive training.
The group of highly trained and well-equipped Officers has evolved over the years into a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. SWAT is comprised of officers specially trained as entry personnel, precision rifle operators, tactical negotiators, and tactical equipment operators.
SWAT is deployed whenever a crisis develops which is deemed by a patrol supervisor to be beyond the scope of immediately available resources. Typical situations that require SWAT are; Barricaded Suspects, Hostage Rescue Missions, Hazardous Warrant Service, Counter Sniper Situations and Dignitary Protection.
The SWAT team trains 14 hours a month, in addition to a 40 hour annual training. SWAT is a collateral duty assignment for all members. SWAT officers volunteer to take on the added responsibility of SWAT in addition to their daily assignments in Patrol, Traffic, Investigations, etc.
SWAT candidates endure a lengthy and challenging process to be selected for the team. Upon selection, new SWAT members are required to attend an 80 hour basic SWAT school.