[[caption-width-right:350:SWAT officers practising their tactics.]]

->''"S.W.A.T. is a life-''saving'' organization, not a life-''taking'' one. That's why the FBI and Secret Service come here to train with us."''
--> -- '''[[SergeantRock Sgt. Dan "Hondo" Harrelson]]''', ''Film/{{SWAT}}''

One of the more iconic, recognizable, and dramatic images of law enforcement, a '''S'''pecial '''W'''eapons '''A'''nd '''T'''actics '''Team''' cuts an immediate and dramatic figure in any crime drama, police serial, or other story that immediately tells everyone present that the situation is deadly serious. They are usually called in for hostage scenarios, fortified and armed suspects, high-risk warrant raids, riot control, and terrorist threats. SWAT teams are easily recognizable, clad in black/blue clothing, helmets, body armor, and wielding heavy weaponry, such as assault rifles or shotguns. They also use special tactical gear like flashbang grenades, and travel in armored vehicles. They usually wear masks, be they balaclavas or gas masks, both for practical reasons (most balaclavas are fireproof, and gas masks help when dealing with tear gas) and to help keep them anonymous and impossible to read.

The role of the SWAT team in fiction varies depending on the work in question. If they're on the heroes' side, they can be either [[BadassArmy elite, well-equipped problem solvers]], [[TheCavalry the rescue party]] who [[BigDamnHeroes bursts in to save the day]], or [[RedshirtArmy inept or ill-fated mooks]] who [[TheWorfEffect die to show how dangerous the villains are]]. In other works, a SWAT team can serve as a HeroAntagonist if they oppose a protagonist who is falsely accused or otherwise principled but on the wrong side of the law. If the protagonists are criminals, a SWAT team is often the [[FacelessGoons faceless masses]] that exist to get gunned down, or [[EliteMooks a major threat to the protagonists.]] In very cynical works involving a CrapsackWorld or dystopia, the SWAT team can be StateSec made up of {{Dirty Cop}}s. Effectiveness and role generally depends on the SlidingScaleOfLawEnforcement.

SWAT teams in fiction are often inaccurately portrayed as opening fire immediately on suspects, or otherwise being TriggerHappy, or even deliberately killing suspects who present no immediate threat. In reality, as the page quote shows, SWAT serves as a life-saving police unit. The ideal objective when a SWAT team is sent in is that ''everyone''--hostage, bystander, operator, and suspect--comes out alive. SWAT officers have very specific procedures they usually have to follow; for example, a SWAT officer is supposed to clearly identify himself to a suspect, and can only open fire if the suspect raises a weapon or otherwise presents a threat to the life or safety of another.

In recent years, the deployment of SWAT teams in real life has been increasingly called into question. Originally intended to respond to situations that, typically, would be unlikely to be encountered even once in any given officer's entire career, the vast majority of SWAT deployments are now to execute arrest and search warrants, often against non-violent offenders. Radley Balko's non-fiction book ''Rise Of The Warrior Cop'' covers a lot of the history of SWAT - noting that in the LAPD standoff with the Symbionese Liberation Army, the SWAT team asked for a Grenade Launcher and were told in no uncertain terms that they did not have permission to obtain or use one. Fastforward to the present day, and ''hundreds'' of surplus grenade launchers, fifty-calibre machine guns, and armoured vehicles have been [[http://www.vice.com/read/the-pentagon-is-giving-grenade-launchers-to-campus-police-904 given to Police forces across America]] - despite the fact that [[http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence violent crime has been declining for decades]]. Indeed, in the late 2010's "[=SWATting=]" attacks (where a hoax call is used to try and bait a SWAT team into raiding someone's house -- leading to [[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/15/tyler-barriss-swatting-death-regret a fatality shortly after the Christmas in 2017]]) have become a serious issue. Especially amongst Youtubers, livestreamers, and other online celebrities.

On the other hand, proponents argue that the heavy equipment being distributed to SWAT is more necessary now more than ever. A major catalyst for this argument was the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Mumbai_attacks 2008 Mumbai attacks]], where Indian police were completely outmatched against the attackers and led to a SWAT team being formed after the fact. With the establishment of ISIS as well as al-Qaida shifting to a more decentralized operating structure, terrorist attacks involving multiple attackers armed with heavy weapons and armor have become increasingly commonplace, such as the attacks in Paris in [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/January_2015_%C3%8Ele-de-France_attacks January]] and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_2015_Paris_attacks November 2015]] followed by the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_San_Bernardino_attack December 2015]] San Bernardino attack. During the Bataclan siege in Paris, RAID officers credited their military-grade equipment with saving their lives.

May also be referred to as ESU (Emergency Service Unit) in the many shows about UsefulNotes/NewYorkCityCops.
!!Examples of this trope:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Not content with just SWAT, ''Manga/{{Appleseed}}'' introduces ESWAT -- Extra-Special Weapons and Tactics teams. These guys are definitely on the BadassArmy side of the scale; they're almost a military in [[LandOfOneCity Olympus]].
* SWAT teams are featured throughout ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex''; on three occasions, Section Nine deploys to resolve hostage situations Niihama SWAT can't handle; Batou and Saito rescue a Japanese Coast Guard [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Security_Team Special Security Team]] operator; Aramaki holds off a corrupt [=CO19=] team in London with a grenade, an alarm clock, and clever thinking; and there's the Narcotics Suppression Squad, a SWAT Team made of [[DirtyCop dirty cops]] and unsavory types, run by the ''Ministry of Health''.
** And then by ''Solid State Society'', Section Nine has grown large enough that it has its own dedicated SWAT Team.
* SWAT snipers are deployed by the Dubai Police Force during the Orchestra arc of ''Manga/{{Jormungand}}'', but aren't terribly effective.
** Among the HCLI crew, [[FriendlySniper Lutz]] was a former SWAT sniper before he joined Koko's team.
* Anti-Skill in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' is the non-powered portion of city law enforcement, and most frequently shows up as SWAT teams. They're fairly competent, but out of their league against the more powerful Espers and sorcerers.
* The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department deploys the Special Assault Team in ''Anime/TerrorInResonance'' to locate the bombs Sphinx planted in Episode 3. The SAT is again deployed in Episode 6 to secure Haneda Airport against a terrorist attack.
* The Special Assault Team eventually gets deployed in ''Manga/{{Parasyte}}'' against the titular monsters.
* A few Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais elements (Special Police Operations Battalion) were sent to raid the penthouse in Rio de Janeiro where Alucard and Seras are staying in the third volume of ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'', having been told by their Millennium-backed superiors that they are terrorists. Their performance against Alucard is... [[CurbStompBattle typical]].

* In ''Still the Twelfth Man'', one of these is dispatched when Max Walker barricades himself inside the commentary box with Richie Benaud hostage.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', a NYPD [=ESU=] team goes after Rorschach midway through the comic and subdues him, though not without him kicking some serious ass in the process.
* ''ComicBook/Punisher'': SWAT's effectiveness varies. they're generally portrayed as reasonably competent, but not ''as'' skilled, experienced, or especially as ruthless and violent as Frank Castle.
* In the Franchise/MarvelUniverse, a New York city [=ESU=] team named Code: Blue, composed of badass cops equipped with above-average technology occasionally helps the local heroes deal with supervillains.
* Franchise/{{Superman}}'s home city of Metropolis also has a similar team known as the Special Crimes Unit.
* In ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'', Gotham City's Police Dept.'s SWAT team is a murderous goon squad gleefully following the orders of the corrupt Commission Loeb. When they tried to corner and kill Franchise/{{Batman}}, they are no match for him.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'', the Child Detection Agency acts as the HomeOfMonsters equivalent of a SWAT team or a Hazmat team.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* SWAT units appear in both ''Film/BatmanBegins'' and ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. In the former, they're little more than a RedshirtArmy who can't stop either Batman or the villains, but in the latter they are actually pretty competent and effective, once [[spoiler:they realize the Joker has switched the hostages and his minions.]]
* SWAT appears again early on in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''; in the initial engagement with Daggett's men they hold their own, but a number of them are easily sniped by Barsad, Bane's right hand man. Many of the cops sent to search the sewers are also SWAT.
* In ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', an LAPD SWAT team responds to the break-in at Cyberdyne. They fatally wound Miles Dyson, but are utterly helpless against a cyborg like the T-800, who casually incapacitates most of them without killing them.
* In ''Film/TheNegotiator'', a SWAT unit attacks protagonist Danny Roman when a couple of [[DirtyCop Dirty Cops]] try to take him out when he gets too close to the truth behind his friend's murder. The SWAT team is driven back without anyone getting killed, though one of them is captured in the process.
* In ''Film/TheSiege'', the FBI SWAT team leads the raid on a safehouse where co-conspirators in the bombing of an MTA bus are holed up. During both bus hostage situations, the NYPD Emergency Services Unit makes appearances.
* Both Boston Police Department and FBI SWAT teams appear in the Fenway Park shootout in ''Film/TheTown'', with the deaths of criminals Desmond Elden, James Coughlin and Albert Magloan all coming at the hands of SWAT team bullets.
* In ''Film/TheOne'', Jet Li's character Gabriel Law is a member of the Los Angeles County SWAT. An alternate-universe SWAT unit is also featured at the beginning of the movie, and a multiversal SWAT equivalent appears throughout the movie.
* SWAT serve as a RedshirtArmy in ''Film/DieHard'' and ''Film/DieHard2''. The LAPD SWAT team [[CurbStompBattle doesn't even get to fire a shot]], whereas the five-man airport SWAT unit, when ambushed by four of Colonel Stuart's henchmen, only is able to kill one of the mercenaries before being entirely wiped out. It takes [=McClane=] to take out the remaining three soldiers.
* In ''Film/HardBoiled'', HKPF Special Duties Unit operators show [[BigDamnHeroes Big Damn Heroics]] in the hospital siege by helping to evacuate the maternity ward.
* In ''Film/DawnOfTheDead1978'', a SWAT team, including two of the main characters, raid a Zombie-infested apartment building in the beginning. They sport the usual early-era black bulletproof vests and caps as well as M16 rifles.
* BOPE, the protagonists of ''Film/TheEliteSquad'', were originally a conventional hostage rescue SWAT Team. Now they're a BadassArmy that fights fire with fire. (At best.) Or as the director said [[DVDBonusContent in an interview]] "SWAT teams are trained to rescue. BOPE are trained to kill."
* ''Film/TheRaid'' follows an Indonesian SWAT Team called Detachment 88 going into an apartment building filled to the rafters with the worst thugs in the city. [[spoiler:At the end of the movie, only two D88 cops survive. Out of ''twenty''.]]
* ''Film/{{SWAT}}'' is centered on a Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team. The movie starts with Street and Gamble getting thrown off one, then about a third of the way in Sgt. Hondo Harrelson comes in and handpicks a new one, including Street.

* The ''Literature/RainbowSix'' novel and games focus on an international version of this composed of special forces troops and police officers recruited from various nations who work as a counter-terror and hostage rescue unit.
** Other Creator/TomClancy novels have included appearances by the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team. An HRT sniper is a recurring character.
* In ''Literature/ShadowOps'', a New York City [=ESU=] team is assigned to support [[MageKiller Shadow Coven]] when they're called in to take down a rogue [[BodyHorror Physiomancer]] loose in the sewers underneath the city. Being {{Muggles}} in a setting where said Physiomancer can literally reshape human flesh at will (both others and its own), most of the unit gets horribly massacred in the ensuing encounter.
* In ''Literature/{{Daemon}}'', a FBI Hostage Rescue Team attempts to assault Sobol's booby-trapped mansion. Most are driven back, but one of them, Roy "Tripwire" Merritt, manages to get in, becoming a HeroAntagonist and FamedInStory.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The TV series ''Series/SWAT1975'', which the above-mentioned film was based on and was one of the earliest examples on TV. Generally what happens is a crisis goes down that requires SWAT attention, the SWAT team gears up and piles into its infamous "War Wagon", and the criminals give up the second they see SWAT on the scene.
* Both SWAT teams and FBI Hostage Rescue Teams appear in ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' frequently, when police and the FBI close in on either the Connors or the machines hunting them. It almost always ends ''badly'' for them. Their usage here falls under WrongGenreSavvy in that Ellison knew he was against a serious threat and called out the HRT, assuming they could deal with any reasonable enemy. Unfortunately he was dealing with a [[ImmuneToBullets Terminator]] and SWAT teams don't bring anti-tank weapons.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' features numerous variations of SWAT teams and federal response units, and CTU has their tactical teams. They generally serve as a RedshirtArmy, as the phrase "we're setting up a perimeter" is synonymous with "the badguys are already escaping." When the tactical teams ''do'' manage to contain the badguys, however, the resulting gunfight is usually a CurbstompBattle in favor of the good guys.
* In ''Series/TheCape'', the local city's SWAT units are actually PrivateMilitaryContractors that serve as the FacelessGoons for the [[MegaCorp Ark Corporation]].
* ''Series/{{Flashpoint}}'' is about the Strategic Response Unit, which is an Emergency Response Team-type unit based in a CityWithNoName (filmed in Toronto, Canada). Much like the original ''Series/SWAT1975'', nearly every episode has them responding to a major incident that in real life would be a rare event.
* SWAT teams have appeared from time to time on ''Series/BurnNotice'', usually forcing Team Westen the additional challenge of avoiding shootouts they can't win.
* FBI Hostage Rescue Teams also show from time to time on ''Series/CriminalMinds''; in one episode they deploy to protect the FBI building from an [=UnSub=] who's a [[RetiredBadass retired Navy SEAL]]. [[spoiler:He gets into the building before they're even deployed.]]
** Plenty of non-HRT SWAT teams show up in the series as well. Of particular note is one episode where a SWAT team launches a raid on a heavily armed cult compound while two members of the team and a social worker are inside, which after a gun battle leads to the team members getting captured and the social worker killed.
* Civilian SWAT teams appears a few times on ''Series/{{JAG}}''.
** In the second season episode "The Guardian", Bud is trapped inside a church with a crazy homeless veteran who is a murder suspect and an MPD SWAT team is sent to the church and captures the suspect, but only after Harm has done his usual share of heroics.
** In "The Martin Baker Fan Club", an MPD SWAT team enter Harm's appartment after one of the crazy fugitive veterans grabbed a side arm from a police officer. The suspect is arrested but another veteran is shot at.
** The opening of "The Colonel's Wife" is of a San Diego SWAT team, while on a drug bust, discovers the origin of a drug shipment.
** In "Persian Gulf", an MPD SWAT team enters after Mac killed the terrorist Fadik Sahd.
* ''Series/BlueHeelers'' has the Victoria Police equivalent Special Operations Group used several times throughout the series. One season five episode had them wearing the Boonie hats and looking more like soldiers dressed as police or police with body armor and special weapons, much like the Heelers and other police are when they conduct high-risk operations. After the station bombing they are played straight; black outfits, helmets and body armor, storming, raiding and searching a bombing suspect, complete with weapons at low ready as they sweep and clear for any suspects or signs of explosives.
* SOG also appear as the black suited super soldiers they are in ''Series/{{Underbelly}}''. They work with detectives to entrap and barricade Jason Moran before using sledgehammers to break him out of his car, Steven Owen uses them to arrest Carl Williams after he made death threats (Owen claimed he was armed and extremely dangerous, so they roughed him up) as well as planting listening and monitoring devices.
* ''Series/LawAndOrder'' features the NYPD Emergency Service Unit. They wear [[BulletproofVest heavy vests]] and riot helmets and tend to carry [[CoolGuns Ithaca 37s and M16s]]. The Season 4 episode "Kids" even shows a [[ActionGirl female ESU officer]] being first through the door in a raid.
* FBI SWAT officers appear in ''Series/TheBlacklist'', but are usually given the WorfEffect; the SWAT team escorting Liz, Ressler and the General's daughter in the pilot is slaughtered and the VIP captured, while in "Anslo Garrick," the SWAT officers guarding the black site are easily killed by Garrick's mercenaries.
* In ''Series/PersonOfInterest'', the US Marshals have a SWAT Team among the Marshals guarding Alonzo Quinn. They prove to be ineffective against John Reese, who (while bleeding to death from barely treated gunshots) nonlethally curbstomps them to get to Quinn.
* As a show that revolves around the NYPD, ESU teams are a regular feature of ''Series/BlueBloods'', responding to a variety of situations (including guarding Frank after he's been shot).
* ''Series/HillStreetBlues'' is one of the few PoliceProcedural series to have the commander of the precinct's SWAT team[[note]]or rather, [[UnfortunateAcronym Emergency Action Team]] commander, who gets very annoyed when people make fun of the acronym[[/note]] as a regular character, in the form of [[CowboyCop gung-ho]] NobleBigotWithABadge Lt. Howard Hunter. A few of his team also achieve RecurringExtra status.
* ''Series/NineteenTwo'' has the Groupe tactique/Tactical Group for the Service de Police Métropolitain whenever the force needs them to go against armed criminals. [[RedShirtArmy Needless to say, they get into trouble when some of their elements get taken out by a bomb attack]], [[DirtyCop pointing to the possibility of a rogue cop helping out organized crime in Montreal.]]
* The Japanese drama ''S: The Last Policeman'' (which is based off of a manga) features a fictional police squad called NPS ([[WordSaladTitle National Police Safety Rescue]]) which is stated to have the ideal combination of the mobility of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Assault_Team SAT]] and the investigative skills of the SIT (Special Investigative Team). The movie sequel ''S: The Last Policeman - Recovery of our Future'' also has SAT, SIT, and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Security_Team SST]] units in it as well.
* ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' (and the source series, ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'') featured a SWAT-themed SuperMode for the entire team; in this mode, they gain armor (including big vests), helmet add-ons (a headset and a targeting/infrared vision device), and large automatic weaponry. They also get the SWAT Megazord, composed of jets and able to turn into a Zord-sized {{BFG}} for containing criminals.
* ''Series/TheDefenders2017'': The Netflix shows make use of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit on several occasions.
** ''Series/Daredevil2015'':
*** In season 1's "Condemned", an ESU squad is summoned to a hostage situation where Matt Murdock has overpowered a rookie police officer who stumbled upon him and Vladimir in an abandoned building. This ESU squad is working for Wilson Fisk and have been tasked with murdering several cops at the scene. One ESU sniper goes to a nearby rooftop and guns down Detective Christian Blake (who had become a liability to Fisk) and two other cops (to cover it up), while the team that enters the building kills the police officer Matt overpowered, and then kill off Vladimir.
*** In season 2's "Dogs to a Gunfight," ESU is shown using Grotto as bait to lure the Punisher into a trap. They later try to shoot at the Punisher while he and Matt Murdock are engaged in fisticuffs on the rooftop.
*** In "Penny and Dime", ESU are shown on scene when Frank Castle is arrested in the cemetery. While he's recovering in the hospital from being tortured by the Kitchen Irish, he's considered a high enough risk prisoner (both to himself and other people) that an entire floor is cordoned off for him and guarded by an ESU squad overseen by Brett Mahoney.
*** ESU are later shown standing outside the courthouse after Frank Castle escapes from prison and DA Reyes gets killed.
*** The season 1 finale sees an FBI SWAT team escorting Fisk under guard to Rikers, until mercs working for Fisk ambush the convoy and try to free him. And then it turns out one of the officers in the truck has been paid off by Fisk.
*** The FBI features a prominent role in season 3, and their SWAT teams come right with them.
** ''Series/JessicaJones2015'': The police detail guarding Trish's hospital room in season 2 gets an ESU team after Jessica's mom kills Detective Costa's partner in the midst of escaping after a failed attempt to kill Trish. Some ESU accompany Costa when they catch up to Jessica at the ferris wheel right after her mom has been killed by Trish.
** ''Series/LukeCage2016''
*** ESU officers are shown escorting Cottonmouth as he's [[PerpWalk perp-walked]] out of his club for killing Misty Knight's partner Rafael Scarfe.
*** With Luke posing problems for the Harlem gangs, [[CorruptPolitician Councilwoman Mariah Dillard]] and [[ArmsDealer Willis "Diamondback" Stryker]] use Mariah's connections to manipulate the NYPD into bulk-purchasing [[DepletedPhlebotinumShells Judas bullets]], with ESU naturally being where they end up. Their plan involves Diamondback murdering a random police officer and pinning it on Luke. During Diamondback's HostageSituation at Harlem's Paradise, ADA Blake Tower expresses his reservations about this move to Inspector Priscilla Ridley, and wants to stall the possibility of a violent confrontation between Luke Cage and the Judas-armed ESU team because he knows it's only a matter of time before these kind of bullets end up on the street and in the hands of criminals.
** ''Series/IronFist2017'': Once Danny Rand has driven the Hand out of Rand Enterprises, Harold Meachum backstabs him by framing him for the Hand's activities and sends a DEA SWAT team after them. Danny and Colleen overpower the SWAT team and escape. After Danny, Colleen and Ward defeat Harold, Jeri Hogarth gets the assault charges against Danny and Colleen dropped [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney thanks to a generous contribution to the DEA Widows and Children's Fund.]]
** ''Series/TheDefenders2017'': An ESU team is summoned to Midland Circle in the climax and is responsible for evacuating Misty Knight after her right arm is cut off fighting Bakuto.
** ''Series/ThePunisher2017'':
*** Dinah Madani and Sam Stein feed some false information to a bug in Dinah's office to trick whoever's on the other end into thinking that Frank Castle will be making a gun buy at the second floor of an abandoned factory. Billy Russo and his men show up at the location, and subsequently open fire when the SWAT team reveals themselves. Several SWAT officers are killed in the gunfight, as are all of Russo's men. Before Russo escapes, he manages to corner and stab Sam to death with a retractable knife concealed in his right sleeve.
*** An NYPD ESU team headed by Brett Mahoney responds when Frank shows up at the hotel where Lewis Wilson tries to assassinate Karen Page and Senator Ori. They train their guns on Frank as [[WoundedGazelleGambit he uses Karen as a "hostage" to escape]].
* The Japanese PoliceProcedural ''Crisis2017'' focuses on an [[PlausibleDeniability "unofficial"]] unit of the Special Investigation Team as they covertly dispose of terrorist threats to the state. The Special Assault Team also has a BigDamnHeroes moment in Episode 8.
* ''Series/TheWire'': Baltimore Police Department SWAT teams do show up from time to time for raids.
** SWAT are deployed ''en masse'' to raid Barksdale stashhouses after Kima Greggs gets shot in an undercover buy gone wrong.
** The most notable use of the SWAT team in the show is in the antepenultimate episode of season 1, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LSo8_fBE_k when they are about to arrest Avon Barksdale in his office]]. Jimmy [=McNulty=] sees the show of force as a little bit excessive, so he convinces Cedric Daniels that they can do better: they just simply walk up the stairs to the office like a walk in the park, wordlessly put the handcuffs on Avon, then walk out. The only words being when [=McNulty=] tells Stringer, "[[BadassBoast Catch you later]]."
-->'''Jimmy [=McNulty=]:''' This isn't as much fun as I thought it would be...
-->'''Cedric Daniels:''' SWAT guys do love to break out their tools, don't they?
-->'''Jimmy [=McNulty=]:''' Do they think there's Tony Montana up there? These guys probably haven't touch a gun in years. ''[beat]'' Ah, fuck this shit. You and me, Lieutenant.
** The season 3 finale sees Rawls deploy SWAT and lots of patrol officers as part of the show being put on to clear out Hamsterdam, the unauthorized "drug-free zone" that Major Colvin had been running. This also impacts the Major Crimes Unit, who have to borrow Western District cops like Herc and Carver to go arrest Avon Barksdale and his men at one of their stashhouses because Rawls denies them access to the SWAT unit.
** Season 4 sees the hostile Lt. Charles Marimow, installed in Major Crimes on Rawls' orders, utilize SWAT teams in a failed attempt to raid some of Marlo Stanfield's stash houses, but the information is bad and they only succeed in arresting some low-level members of Marlo's crew.
** In season 5, Kenneth Dozerman ends up in the tactical unit after the Major Crimes Unit is shut down due to Carcetti's cutbacks.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* SWAT serves as an enemy throughout the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' games, generally as an antagonist in different missions, and as one of the grades of police response called in as more crimes are committed. By ''4'', the SWAT team is replaced by a Homeland Security {{expy}} known as NOOSE.
* The ''{{VideoGame/SWAT}}'' instalments of the ''VideoGame/PoliceQuest'' games obviously involve this, eventually progressing from a point-and-click adventure game to a top-down tactical simulator to tactical squad-based [[{{VideoGame/SWAT 3}} first-person]] [[{{VideoGame/SWAT 4}} shooters]]. The ''SWAT'' games heavily emphasize the use of proper police procedure: cuff every enemy, collect evidence, report all injured or dead people, always announce your presence and demand surrender before firing, and ''especially'' emphasis on trying to take down suspects alive. The latest game in the series is ''SWAT 4'', made by Creator/IrrationalGames (the team behind ''VideoGame/BioShock'' and ''VideoGame/SystemShock 2'').
* A Detroit SWAT unit appears early on in ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'', containing the hostage situation at the Sarif factory. They eventually go in after Adam Jensen enters the facility and recovers the top secret prototype he's after. Jensen himself is also ex-SWAT.
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', the NCR's [[EliteMooks Veteran Rangers]] utilize gear custom-made from Pre-War SWAT and Riot Police gear. [[BadassPreacher Joshua Graham]] also wears a Salt Lake City P.D SWAT tactical vest as part of his custom armor, which the player gets a variant of after completing the ''Honest Hearts'' DLC.
* ''VideoGame/ThisIsThePolice'' has SWAT Teams, along with many other types of officer.
* The ''Franchise/MassEffect'' games have a sci-fi equivalent in the form of Citadel Security's Special Response division. Aside from the usual SWAT-style duties, they also serve as the front-line defense of the Citadel if it is attacked. According to the second game, they suffered heavy losses while fighting off the geth incursion in the first game, and in the third, they take a hefty beating when [[spoiler:a major Cerberus force attacks the Citadel in an attempt to assassinate the Council]].
* In ''VideoGame/MafiaII'', Empire Bay has a SWAT unit that appears in several missions during the DLC's. This is a unique anachronism as the game is set during TheFifties and the first SWAT teams didn't become operational until about 1964 or 1968.
* ''VideoGame/PAYDAYTheHeist'' [[VideoGame/{{PAYDAY 2}} and its sequel]] has the SWAT as your main enemies since you're a heavily armed robber. The SWAT team come in varying appearances, gear, and tactics. There's also [[EliteMook special SWAT units]] designed to disable you quickly.
* SWAT in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamOrigins'' is, for all intents and purposes, just another gang of thugs, usually seen shaking people off for protection money or violently disputing over turf with other gangs, and their chief is the single dirtiest cop in all GCPD (and that's saying something). They decide to completely ignore their police duties for the night in order to try to earn the bounty on Batman for themselves.
* Raccoon City's SWAT team appear in the intro cutscene in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'' to showcase how powerful and dangerous the zombies have become by having the entire team slaughtered by them. The SWAT officers use submachine guns and shotguns while the regular police officers use pistols, but even the extra firepower were no match against the zombie horde.
* Japan's Special Assault Team is featured in ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'' in the introduction to several characters' story modes foiling an attempted hijacking of an airliner. Naoto's story mode begin with the hijacking, but the SAT members are not actually seen as she isn't out on the runway. Aigis's story mode also begins with the hijacking, and it is only in her mode that we see the SAT operation as it unfolds. [[PoliceAreUseless They are completely useless compared to the Shadow Operatives.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' may take place in the 2500s, but SWAT teams are still in use on most human worlds. They've only shown up in the games once, namely a brief appearance in the ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' audio logs where they take down an ex-cop who went postal.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The titular characters of ''WesternAnimation/SwatKats'' were implied to be this before [[{{Jerkass}} Commander Feral]] kicked them out of the Enforcers and [[ReassignedToAntarctica demoted them to a salvage yard]]; hence their names as vigilantes. (Indeed, they function as the SWAT equivalent because they're the ones to beat the villains after the Enforcers have failed; but they typically dress in flight suits, not typical SWAT gear, and tend to use non-lethal weaponry along the lines of AbnormalAmmo, though they ''will'' kill if necessary.)
* On ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' a SWAT team arrests a squirrel for stealing a gas cap from Rocko. They all consist of koalas with [[LiteralMinded fly-swatters.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* SWAT teams first came into existence in the 1960s. [[TropeMaker The first team was a 100-man specialized unit established by the Philadelphia Police Department in 1964]] in response to an alarming increase in bank robberies. The police wanted to be able to react quickly and decisively to bank robberies while they were in progress, by utilizing a large number of specially trained officers who had at their disposal a great amount of firepower. The tactic worked and was later soon to resolve other types of incidents involving heavily-armed criminals.
* SWAT as we currently know them in municipal law enforcement was [[TropeCodifier best refined by the LAPD]]. After the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965, the LAPD began considering tactics it could use when faced with urban unrest, rioting or widespread violence. Daryl Gates, who led the LAPD response to the riots, would later write that police at the time didn't face a single mob, but rather "people attacking from all directions." There was the fear of lone or barricaded gunmen who might outperform police in a shootout, as happened in Austin with Charles Whitman.
* "SWAT" is the term used to refer to special response units belong to local county governments in the United States, with federal law enforcement branches having their own equivalents (for example, the FBI field office SWAT teams and the Quantico-based FBI Hostage Rescue Team). The SWAT name has also been used in the following countries:
** Bangladesh. Under the control of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, but under the Detective Branch.
** China. Major cities/towns like Beijing and Shanghai have their own SWAT under the control of the local Public Security Bureau. [[https://read01.com/M2GRoB.html The following are patches used by PSB SWAT units.]]
** The Philippines. Each city has a SWAT team under the control of the Philippine National Police.
*** And the PNP also has a specialized counter-terrorism team, the Special Action Force.
** South Korea (Similar to the Philippines).
** The city of Dubai in the [=UAE=] has a SWAT unit created in 1991 under the Dubai Police Force's General Department of Organisation, Protective Security and Emergency.
** In India, the city of Delhi has a SWAT unit of its own in 2009 (Officially in action by 2010) to counter potential terrorist attacks in the city after the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008 with the first of its officers trained by the National Security Guards and Israeli security contractors. The state of Punjab also has a SWAT unit, whose existence was officially announced to the public in 2009 with its first officers also trained by Israeli security contractors. In 2010, Aligarh has established a [=SWAT=] team within its own police force.
* Many U.S. cities don't use the term "SWAT". Common titles in include Emergency Response Team, Special Response Team, or Tactical Response Team.
* The [[UsefulNotes/NewYorkCityCops NYPD]] and the Port Authority are unique for law enforcement entities, in that the functions of a SWAT team (high risk warrant raids, hostage situations, counterterrorism, security details, etc.) are one of many duties given to the Emergency Services Unit. ESU is assigned to handle any situation that requires advanced equipment and expertise, which include SWAT, serious car accidents (rollovers and extrications), building collapses and more.
** That said, the NYPD does have one ESU team that is strictly SWAT operations. It's known as the Apprehension Tactical Team or the "A-Team". It was founded in 1989 in order to supplement the ESU's sometimes overwhelming requirement to perform raids throughout the city (at the height of the crack epidemic). The A-Team strictly performs tactical missions which, on a day-to-day basis are typically High-Risk search warrants. The A-Team is widely considered to have the highest operational tempo of any US tactical team, sometimes performing as many as 8001000 missions per year. The team can be called upon to support any unit within the NYPD, federal law enforcement agencies or outside police departments upon official request for tactical entries. Members of the A-Team are also utilized as tactical and firearms trainers both within ESU and to other NYPD units. The A-Team has participated in many of the city's most notable criminal take-down operations. Members of the team are recruited from within ESU, based on team needs and assignment to the team is highly selective. A-Team members are still required to maintain all of their periodic ESU certifications and proficiencies, and must be able to support the ESU on any type of operation should the need arise.
* Germany has the GSG-9 (''Grenzschutzgruppe 9'' - Border Protection Group 9) a highly successful anti-terror group which was formed after the [[Film/{{Munich}} 1972 Olympic Games Massacre]], which saw [[http://youtu.be/CIicN7RXyRs?t=4m32s common riot police and beat cops advancing on the terrorists in stahlhelms and colourful tracksuits (in a botched attampt at 'disguise') with military-grade rifles they had never used before]]. In recent year, the [=SEKs=] and [=MEKs=] fulfill the SWAT role while the GSG-9 functions similarly to the Hostage Rescue Team when federal police resources are used.
* The closest analogue to a SWAT in Russia and the Former Soviet Union is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OMSN OMSN]] spetsnaz (formerly known as SOBR) which is under the authority of the MVD. Like many special purpose police units, they were formed after the Munich Olympics tragedy. Like SWAT, they are rapid response paramilitary police units specializing in high-risk criminal arrests, counter-terrorism and cordoning. Unlike most SWAT teams however, OMSN can be called upon by the Russian authorities to serve in a war zone, with SOBR being called to serve during the war in Chechnya. A former organization was [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OMON OMON]], an organization that acted as a special police unit with similar duties, but have since been replaced in Russia by the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Guard_of_Russia National Guard of Russia (FSVNG RF)]], which has taken over OMON's role, but also takes on a wider scope of duties such as border patrol and security at state facilities.
* UsefulNotes/BritishCoppers have these as well, easily recognisable because they're the ''only'' uniformed police who openly carry firearms (Officers of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary[[note]]who guard Britain's Nuclear reactors - Britain' [[UsefulNotes/UltimateDefenceOfTheRealm nuclear weapons]] are guarded by the military, rather than civilian, police[[/note]] or Protection Command[[note]]whose remit is the protection of senior politicians, members of the Royal Family, and Diplomats[[/note]] may also carry weapons, but you're pretty unlikely to see one in your day-to-day life). The Metropolitan Police's Specialist Crime and Operations Specialist Firearms Command, [=SCO19=] (Previously known as S019 or C019) is probably the most famous, thanks to BritainIsOnlyLondon. Of about 130,000 police officers in the United Kingdom, only about 6,600 are Authorised Firearms Officers, and Specialist Firearms Officers who train on SWAT-type tactics are even rarer - London only has about 70.
** As described above, Australian coppers also have emergency police units from the Federal Police's Specialist Response Group to the Critical Incident Response Team, sort of the halfway point between beat police and proper SWAT. The most famous would arguably be the Sons of God, Victoria's Special Operations Group that is more or less a police {{expy}} of the SAS or the FBI HRT.
* Spain has the GEO (''Grupo Especial de Operaciones'' - Special Operations Group) which is part of the national police. It was openly inspired in the German GSG-9 and the British SAS.
* Japan does not have any units formally called "SWAT," but their closest equivalents would be the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Assault_Team Special Assault Team]] under the National Police Agency. They operate as a mixture of regional/city-based SWATs and the FBI's HRT as they're deployed in Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Chiba, Kanagawa, Aichi, Fukuouka and Okinawa on a case-by-case basis if the local special police unit need assistance or the [=NPA=] deems it necessary for their intervention. Most of the time in the said places, they act as the city/prefectural SWAT unit.
** Other cities/prefectures have their own special police units to act in the place of the SAT in a local situation. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police has the Special Investigation Team. The Osaka Prefectural Police has the Martial Arts Attack Team. Chiba Prefectural Police has the Assault Response Team. Saitama Prefectural Police has the Special Tactical Section. The Kanagawa Prefectural Police has the Special Investigation Section and the Aomori Prefectural Police has the Technical Special Team with the Hiroshima Prefectural Police has the Hostage Rescue Team.
*** For the Akita/Iwate/Ibaraki/Miyagi/Fukushima/Tochigi/Shizuoka/Aichi/Mie/Fukuoka/Nagasaki Prefectural Police, their local SWAT-style units are also called the SIT, named after the [=TMPD=]'s own unit.
** The Japan Coast Guard has the Special Security Team, its own anti-crime/terrorist unit that operate in Japanese territorial waters.
* The Reserve Unit of the Shanghai Municipal Police ([[OlderThanTelevision established in 1925]] by the legendary fighting instructor [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_E._Fairbairn William Fairbairn]]) is often considered the UrExample of the modern SWAT team. The Unit was literally kept in reserve at the SMP training depot and was used to quell riots and serve as an extra layer of security for important items or people in addition to fulfilling "typical" current SWAT duties. To aid with the Unit's training, Fairbairn also developed the Mystery House the first "kill house"-style shooting range, designed to resemble a Chinese apartment building and complete with pop-up shoot/no-shoot targets and audio distractions.
* American prisons have CERT (Correctional Emergency Response Team), who serve a roughly analogous role.
* The Singaporean equivalent is [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Tactics_and_Rescue_(Singapore) STAR (Special Tactics and Rescue)]], under the command of the Singapore Police Force's Special Operations Command. They mainly deal with counter-terrorism and crimes involving firearms.