10 SWAT lessons to live by

We need to remove the obstacles that prevent us from learning and improving our teams, capabilities and operational success


At the 2017 California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) Conference, Don Kester of the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) hosted a thought-provoking session on the challenges faced by tactical teams, and the lessons we should be learning from our mistakes.

Sadly, it seems that agencies and tactical teams continue to repeat the same mistakes, indicating we’re not learning from our own experiences or those of our peers. Don identified several reasons for this, and challenged the officers in attendance to remove the obstacles that prevent us from learning and improving our teams, capabilities and operational success.

As a starting point, Don suggested tactical teams focus on the following lessons identified from critical incidents around the nation:

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