S.W.A.T. History


  • January 1977: Sheriff's Administration discusses idea to form a team
  • April 4,1977: Team commander and leader are sent to FBI Team Leader school
  • July 13,1977: Six additional team members of S.E.R.T. (Special Enforcement Response Team) are selected after extensive testing and evaluation for the team
  • July 18,1977: Then Sheriff Jess Bowling declares the S.E.R.T. Team operational
  • 1982: Sheriff Amis authorizes the Team to be renamed S.W.A.T. and the team grows in size to 10 members
  • 1989: Sheriff Brockman authorizes the Team to increase 13 tactical members and three negotiators
  • 1992: Sheriff Sawyer authorizes S.W.A.T. Team to add two physicians assistants and one K-9 support.
  • 1995: The Sheriff's Department opens testing for additional members from other police departments within Merced County.
  • 2001: The Team has 13 tactical members including one physicians assistant, four negotiators, and two K-9 support. Sheriff Carlson updates the team equipment and weapons.
  • Fall of 2002: The S.W.A.T. Team grows in dramatically in size to include 20 tactical members, four negotiators, one administrative commander, three tactical dispatchers, and two K-9 support
  • Spring of 2003: Sheriff Pazin authorizes the S.W.A.T. Team to increase to 34 members, which includes 24 tactical members, three negotiators, one team physicians assistant, two tactical medics, one S.W.A.T. K-9, and two tactical dispatchers. His support also updates team equipment and weapons for progressive growth.