Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT)
Captain Ed Leedy
Sheriff Don Moreland first established the Marion County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team in 1976. This specialized unit within the Watch Command Bureau is a highly trained and well-equipped group of deputies, willing to answer the call in the most dangerous of situations.
To become a member of the SWAT Team, individuals must have at least one year of employment as a Deputy Sheriff with Marion County; pass a physical exertion test, a firearms proficiency test, and an oral board. Deputies selected to serve on the team must attend a Basic SWAT School offered in the state of Florida. Once on the team the members are on call 24/7. The entire team trains twice a month. The training days are organized by the squad leaders and consist of scenarios, shooting drills, building entries, vehicle and bus assaults, hostage rescue and many other techniques and skills needed to bring resolution to high-risk situations. Team members are expected to become familiar with all aspects of SWAT functions, as they may find themselves in a variety of dangerous situations in a moment’s notice.
The SWAT team responds to an array of missions, some of which are:
- Barricaded armed subjects
- Hostage incidents
- Manhunts for armed fugitives
- Escorts of dangerous prisoners
- Sniper Situations
- Dignitary Protection
- Civil Disturbance
- Search & Arrest Warrants
- Armed Suspect
- Narcotics Raids
- Anti Terrorism
The ability and willingness of the SWAT Team members, the specialized equipment provided, and the continuous support from the Command Staff allow the Marion County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team to be a Premier Unit serving a Premier Agency.
Annual Bad to the Bone Competition
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