Without question, the emergence of SWAT in the 1960s changed the landscape and function of law enforcement. The April issue of American COP provides a special focus on the creation of SWAT, with a firsthand account from one of the officers who was there when it all began during the 1965 Watts riots and the ensuing fallout it created.

“There were armed officers in all black on a number of rooftops to deal with snipers shooting at many of us,” recounts Contributing Writer Gary Paul Johnston. “The patrol cars I was in were hit at least a couple dozen times, but it was all .22s and pistol fire never penetrated the metal. These rooftop antisnipers were the genesis of SWAT.”

The influx of military-grade equipment over the past decade has notably benefited law enforcement agencies with access to affordable full-scale armor. In “Hard Armor Carriers,” Contributing Writer Jacob Herman provides an exposition reviewing highly functional carriers from BLACKHAWK! and US Palm, while also emphasizing the importance of training with armor.

“You may not have the time to wait for the SWAT van to show up, and your low-profile soft armor may not be enough,” warns Herman. “Get an armor system that is good quality, and use it. Practice getting armored-up quickly, driving and shooting with the full gear on.”

Additional topics in this issue of American COP include a special evaluation of SWAT-specific gear, how probation officers are both similar and different from cops, the delicate nature of explaining deadly force to the media and the danger of complacency when it comes to defensive tactics and searches.

A North American Arms Sidewinder Package highlights the April Gun of the Month Giveaway. Weighing in at only 6.7 ounces, this 5-round .22 revolver will dovetail nicely as a backup gun for one lucky reader. This giveaway also includes the Scorpion Range Bag from Voodoo Tactical. Readers can enter for a free chance to win this giveaway online at www.americancopmagazine.com/giveaway.

Image courtesy FMG Publications

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