The Meriden Police Department SWAT Team has been a special component of the department for over three decades. Originally the C.E.R.T., or Community Emergency Response Team, members converted to a full emergency service SWAT Team in the 1980's. The term S.W.A.T. means Special Weapons and Tactics. In larger departments, there are a number of full-time SWAT Teams where members work in that job only. All SWAT Operators in Meriden are fully-trained police officers who work in their normal assignments every day. Some of them are Patrol Officers and Patrol Supervisors, some Neighborhood Initiative Officers, and in past years they have held every job and rank within the department and simultaneously served on the SWAT Team.
When there is a SWAT emergency, these members are immediately called to action where their training will be put to use. SWAT Team members receive training in a wide variety of emergency services including breaching teams, spotter/sniper teams, rappelling, response to active shooter, and building clear and search. SWAT Team members must meet a stringent physical fitness requirement to continue service as a member.
The Meriden Police Department SWAT Team holds a biennial Basic Operator Course to train new members. This team-building and endurance exercise was part of a grueling two week program involving physical, mental, marksmanship, and decision-making.
The Meriden Police Department SWAT Team poses for a team picture while participating in the Connecticut SWAT Challenge.