The Southwest Washington Regional SWAT team was formed in 1998 when the tactical teams of the Vancouver Police Department and the Clark County Sheriffs Office combined. The teams functioned as a consolidated unit while a memorandum of understanding was created between the two law enforcement agencies. Assignments within the new team were based upon experience and ability, without regard for agency of employment. A regional agreement was drafted to include participation of the remaining municipal law enforcement agencies within Clark County, Washington. The Camas Police Department was the first agency to have an officer selected to the SWAT team under that agreement.
The mission of the Southwest Washington Regional SWAT Team is to support area law enforcement agencies with a tactical response to critical incidents. These types of incidents include hostage situations, barricaded suspects, high-risk apprehension, sniper situations, high-risk warrant service, or any other situation that requires the use of specialized equipment and team tactics. The SWAT team tactical unit trains approximately 200 hours annually. Training consists of firearms qualifications, room clearing and search techniques, team movement, unarmed defensive tactics, use of chemical and less lethal munitions, land navigation, and crowd control. Team members are required to pass a physical qualification consisting of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, bar-dips, leg press, and a 1½ mile run twice a year.
There are two Commanders assigned to the SWAT team, one from the Vancouver Police Department, and one from the Clark County Sheriffs Office. They share command duties of the team. There are two Sergeants assigned to the team who serve as the Team Leaders. The remaining 22 team members fill a variety of assignments including squad leaders, entry team, police sharpshooters, perimeter and breaching teams, and chemical agents specialists. There are two Cadets assigned to the SWAT team to provide logistical support. Tactical EMS Officers provide medical support during high-risk missions. All members of the SWAT team are volunteers who have other primary duty functions within their respective law enforcement agencies.