The Detroit metropolitan area is the eleventh largest in the United States with 4.4 million residents. In order to protect and serve the citizens of this great city, a strong and organized police force is needed. Although statistically crime has declined in the past decades, crime is still elevated in the Detroit Metro area when compared to the rest of the United States.
The Detroit Police Department is considered to be one of the more well-organized municipal law enforcement agencies, having built substations in six different districts of the city. The department has received particular notoriety in the last several years, as the Federal Bureau of Investigation has shown that crime has declined in the Central Business District - an improvement that has made a big difference to the city.
One of most important aspects of any law enforcement entity is the ability to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Most metropolitan police departments are equipped with an elite force of officers commonly referred to as a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team, who have received specialized training for a variety of tasks which include: handling face-to-face situations with violent criminals, rescuing hostages or officers engaged in gun battles, counterterrorism operations, protecting visiting dignitaries, as well as providing heavy artillery in assault situations.
Among the 3,200 officers and civilians who make up the Detroit Police Department have an elite unit representing a SWAT team, that is named the Special Response Team, or the "SRT" which is comprised of 21 officers. In Detroit, the most common situations the SRT is called in to handle are those where a suspect is barricading themselves while armed, and when serving high-risk homicide and narcotics warrants. Each officer is trained to use special equipment such as sniper rifles, automatic weapons, explosives, and tools to obtain forced entry into buildings.
The Detroit SRT has received recent notoriety by being featured on a reality-based television show on the A&E channel, named "SWAT." SWAT features the Detroit, Dallas and Kansas City SWAT teams, and rides right alongside the SWAT teams as they are called out to various high-risk situations. Some of the situations where the Detroit SWAT team was called out to intervene in during the filming of some of the episodes included the arrest of one of Detroit's ten most wanted murder suspects, serving a narcotics warrant on a heavily-fortified house, and shutting down an illegal establishment in downtown Detroit.
According to what has been revealed on the television show, Detroit SWAT officers are given a unique codename once they join the team. The team members make up the name based upon a specific action, or character trait that the officer has. These codenames are used as tactical call signs, similarly to how pilots in the military refer to one another.
To say that training to join the Detroit SRT is rigorous is an understatement. Every officer on the team must have a minimum of three years on the police department, and must pass every minimum physical standard established by the department. Physical fitness standards include running 3 miles in 25 minutes, followed immediately by a test of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups. Out of the officers who pass the physical fitness test, members of the SRT interview each candidate, and out of those officers who are recommended, only a few of those selected are permitted to go onto the official training. These seasoned police officers who are selected to go onto the SRT must undergo a minimum of 640 hours of training to be able to prepare them for the final test which lasts 4 days, and simulates the high-stress conditions which a SWAT officer faces in their usual encounters. (Source: http://detroitswat.com/)