Police Militarism Goes Mainstream: Elite Tactical Unit: SWAT

Reality TV producers just can’t seem to get enough guns and shoot-em-up competitions. If Stars Earn Their Stripes wasn’t enough to get your blood flowing (a distinct possibility), Elite Tactical Unit: S.W.A.T. oughta do it. The new S.W.A.T. competition program is currently in production, set to air starting in January. SIG sponsors the show where real-life officers vie for $10k for themselves and $100k for their departments (’cause the boys in blue can never have enough infrared laser-based weaponry). No dogs were harmed in the filming of this program. So far . . .

TEMECULA, Calif. – August 28, 2012 – Fourteen real-life S.W.A.T. officers compete. But there can only be one victor. Outdoor Channel, America’s leader in outdoor TV, today announced production is in full swing for the new original Outdoor Channel series, “Elite Tactical Unit: S.W.A.T.” Scheduled to premiere in January 2013, this one-hour adrenaline-fueled reality show will take viewers on realistic missions through explosive danger led by officers that serve in this line of duty day in and day out.

Presented by Sig Sauer, “Elite Tactical Unit: S.W.A.T.” is produced by Winnercomm, an independent sports production company and division of Outdoor Channel Holdings. The 13-week original series, which is filming in St. Louis, Missouri, features the fierce competition between special weapons and tactics operators made up of active-duty U.S. S.W.A.T. officers who are vying for $10,000 for themselves along with cash and prizes valued at more than $100,000 for the S.W.A.T. departments they serve back home.

“Elite Tactical Unit: S.W.A.T.” provides viewers with a glimpse into the mentally rigorous and physically dangerous conditions that professional S.W.A.T. teams are faced with, covering a variety of tactical disciplines from high-risk helicopter rescue missions to close quarters combat.The S.W.A.T. operators are divided up into two seven-person teams – the Blue Team and the Black Team – as they compete in weekly team elimination challenges until two individuals remain. The final two S.W.A.T. operators then go head-to-head in the finale for one last extreme mission.

“‘Elite Tactical Unit: S.W.A.T.’ is among the character- and competition-driven programming we’re developing to bolster our 2013 lineup and reinforce our commitment to original productions moving forward,” said Tom Hornish, President and CEO, Outdoor Channel. “With its unique potential to attract an expansive audience interested in the heroism of America’s finest operators, in addition to the mechanics of tactical excellence, the series is an ideal addition to our original programming portfolio.”

Hosted by Mykel Hawke [above], a renowned former special forces operator and star of Discovery Channel’s “One Man Army” and “Man, Woman, Wild,” “Elite Tactical Unit: S.W.A.T.” is guaranteed to hook audiences of all ages, as it unfolds throughout the season as the ultimate reality television competition. The series will also feature Terry Schappert, Master Sergeant Green Beret and host of the History Channel’s internationally broadcast series “WARRIORS with Terry Schappert,” who will serve as team leader of the Blue Team presented by Streamlight. Former New Zealand and United Kingdom Special Air Service (SAS) veteran Adam Hamon will command the Black Team presented by Nosler.

“‘Elite Tactical Unit: S.W.A.T.’ will mark Outdoor Channel’s first-ever tactical competition series,” said Jeff Wayne, Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, Outdoor Channel. “As production kicks off, we couldn’t be more excited to unveil such a riveting program that is designed to portray true elements of a professional S.W.A.T. team and its cast of elite S.W.A.T.operators to viewers.”

IrTactical, a unit of Universal Electronics, Inc., is furnishing the S.W.A.T. operators with state-of-the-art equipment, including infrared laser-based weaponry, which can trigger the delivery of a temporary high-voltage low-current electrical discharge to simulate real-world effects. They are also supplying the show with other supplies that mimic realistic tactical gear used by law enforcement and the military in the harshest of environments.

comments

  1. avatar V.McCann says:

    I’m not watching a show glorifying the militarization of police forces. Thanks.

    1. avatar Alec says:

      Also one that rewards it by giving them money to increase their SWAT arsenal.

      1. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

        I’ll watch the show if hot SWAT chicks and lots of drama is included.

    2. avatar Totenglocke says:

      This. I’m sure they also won’t make it realistic and won’t have competitions about who can shoot the most family pets and who can smash into the wrong house and assault innocent people the fastest.

    3. avatar APBTFan says:

      EXACTLY!

      Call me fringe but it rankles and disgusts me to see how militarized our law enforcement has become. Slop a bunch of milsurp weaponry on an agency and the attitude towards civilians will become commensurate with the firepower they have. This bullshit with full autos and APCs is ridiculous and the catch-all excuse is “the war on drugs”. Using all that shit against drug dealers is fine an dandy but there have been way too many squeaky clean folks that have been the victims of police incompetence that get a no knock and end up having a family member and/or (almost always) a pet slain and the residence ransacked just because.

      Maybe it’s just me but the sight of a bunch of armored up SWAT with an APC is way, way too similar to military pouring out of a Stryker in Iraq or Afghanistan. Drug dealers are scum that need to be dealt with but when law enforcement officers take on a role that’s hard to distinguish from our military dealing with insurgents gives me great pause.

      Unless and until citizens can own everything the cops have, police militarization is fucked up, patently wrong and a danger to our country as a whole.

      1. avatar pat says:

        Amen. The insane drug war is part of the problem. It really started things rolling down the militarization road regarding the police.

  2. avatar V.McCann says:

    Actually, I might watch if they had a correct address finding competition or a dog murdering segment.

    1. avatar Joe Grine says:

      LOL!

    2. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

      Lol, part Deux!

  3. avatar OHgunner says:

    Haha… Mike Hawke… I just regressed to middle school!

  4. “which can trigger the delivery of a temporary high-voltage low-current electrical discharge to simulate real-world effects”

    Huh?

  5. avatar jwm says:

    still another reason i’m glad to be without cable or satellite tv.

    1. avatar Azman says:

      Yeah no kidding.

  6. avatar Greg says:

    oh, so now we have a competition among swat officers?

    I think I’ll pass.

  7. avatar Joe says:

    They did this already with that Rudy guy from the first Survivor as the host.

    1. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

      Dude…”THAT RUDY GUY”…are you kidding me? “THAT RUDY GUY”…do you have any idea who Rudy Boesch is? What he accomplished in 45 freaking years as a SEAL? Have you any clue? Jesus freaking Cristo….”THAT RUDY GUY” ?????

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudy_Boesch

      1. avatar Fyrewerx says:

        Joe probably meant “that Bullfrog Guy”.

  8. avatar Shane from Kanuckistan says:

    When did Lorenzo Lamas change his name to Mykel hawke?

  9. avatar V.McCann says:

    Or maybe they could see which little piggy can misuse the most words in a single report.

  10. avatar AznMike says:

    Sounds like a hybrid of top shot and one man army, probably will watch one episode to see how bad it is.

  11. avatar Silver says:

    Anyone ever wonder if shows like this are created in order to further convince the public that it’s ok to militarize the police, or to indoctrinate them to fear what the police could do to them if they dare step out of line, or even to present a whitewashed front to the police to instill “respect?”

    1. avatar Mr. Lion says:

      Although this one, at a glance, leands pretty close in that direction– I would say the majority of the shooting sports shows that have popped up lately have focused primarily on average joe type persons having fun with firearms, which is far from a bad thing.

    2. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

      Woah there let’s not resort to dawning the tin foil hat just yet. If anything, it’s probably filmed in California and very subtly giving off the attitude that only professionally trained super expert people can safely handle firearms.

  12. avatar Aharon says:

    If they decide to confiscate guns then SWAT is possibly one of the specialized units they will send after patriots who refuse to obey. I agree with the first poster about not supporting a show that glorifies the militarizing of police forces.

  13. avatar Avid Reader says:

    Thanks, I think I’ll pass.

  14. avatar g says:

    Sponsored by Sig? So I take it they get loads of free Sig goodies?

    Too bad us civvies don’t get to play… oh wait, we do…

    …TOP SHOT.

  15. avatar LeftShooter says:

    I think I might watch it with my dog, in the spirit of ” know thy enemy,” –until she gets bored with it–which, given the premise, wouldn’t be long.

    1. avatar bontai Joe says:

      I believe we have a winner here!!!!! You captured my opinion of this show’s premise exactly.

  16. avatar Pascal says:

    I refuse to pay $10/month for the Outdoor channel on my system

    1. avatar LeftShooter says:

      That’s too bad, there are some good shows like Shooting USA, Gun Nuts, Gun Stories, Impossible Shots, Shooting Gallery, National Rifleman Magazine, and at least 3 or 4 more whose names escape me at the moment. At $10/month, that comes out to less than $0.50 cents per show. (At least that’s how I justify it!)

  17. avatar Rydak says:

    I think it;s a bit off of our modo to bust on cops getting equipment, most of which, civilians themselves can own and many times are glorified on this web site.

    I have no idea about this show, looks like its gonna suck like most reality shows, but that’s besides the point. This type of bashing of LE getting solid equipment is kinda wacky…just doesn’t feel right and it is a position often taken up by this site. Pretty much about as wacky as the hoopla over the feds buying mass amounts of ammo.

    1. avatar '''Dr. Dave'' says:

      I like being better armed than my local Gestapo storm troopers. You cant fault a man for feeling like that, can you?

      Cops are not your friends. And SWAT sure as hell isn’t, either. Just last week where i’m from, they raided the wrong house looking for a couple drug runners and flash banged a mom while she giving her toddler a bath. They gave no appoligies and the city wont even pay for a new door for her…If you dont think assholes like that should be getting better and better equipped every day, you’re on the wrong side.

  18. avatar macgearailt says:

    Just what we need ,another cop show on meth.
    Seriously,militarization of law enforcement has done more to widen the growing divide between LEOs’ and their fellow citizens .Seemingly,every young cop wants to be “tactical” .The closer the resemblance to a Marine grunt in A-stan the better. If we’re not serving you ,than we are occupying you. I’ve been a Marine,I’m not interested in applying that mind set to my fellow citizens when I’m wearing my star.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      +1

  19. avatar GS650G says:

    It’s funny how calls for less military weapons in civilian hands are met with calls for militarization of the police even further. These people don’t realize dogs sometimes bite their masters.

    Will Hawke have his hottie wife on the show eating bugs and living in lean-too shelters or does she have to be a SWAT officer for that?

  20. avatar Jim Scrummy says:

    Hasn’t this teevee genre jumped the shark already? Meh, I’ll be passing on this dreck.

  21. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

    Two things;
    1) Elite Tactical Unit: Special Weapons And Tactics…is a dumb name.

    2) Why does it end with two individuals? SWAT is a team activity – shouldn’t it be competing teams?

  22. avatar Curzen says:

    Last time I counted there were more than a dozen SWAT units in the metro Atlanta area. And I kept “metro” rather confined venturing not far OTP. My little town of ~10.000 residents has a SWAT unit with all the goodies, why I don’t know. They could do away with most of them, stop wasting a ton of tax money and their ability to fight crime wouldn’t be diminished in any significant way. We might in the process even end up with less innocent grandmas shot by corrupt militarized police officers here.

    1. avatar jon says:

      Should probably get your facts straight. City of Atlanta swat had nothing to do with her getting killed. It was corrupt drug cops. Atlanta seat is one of the best, and busiest teams in the nation. Atlanta PD has shot and killed one suspect in the past 12 years. That one RSS holding a patrol Sgt hostage. They have resolved hundreds upon hundreds of critical incidents since with no deaths and minimal injuries to suspects and officers. Get a clue about what your talking about, idiot. Atlanta pD has a seat officer on the show. Maybe you should watch and learn how skilled these guys are instead of hiding behind your computer bashing them.

  23. avatar '''Dr. Dave'' says:

    I wonder if they’ll have a contest on who can do the most no knock warrants on the wrong houses and kill the largest amount of family pets while on a clock.

    I’m eager to see how they shoot and act, though. A lot of the people i’ve met who were SWAT up in Washington state where i’m from can only be described as well armed and well equipped armatures.

  24. avatar '''Dr. Dave'' says:

    Keep in mind, too, SWAT originally formed as a racial death squad, practically. They got started in the LA race riots to go and shoot down any armed blacks who were either resisting fascist police action, would not vacate their homes, etc.

  25. avatar GS650G says:

    How about a mystery celebrity SWAT raid at 3 AM? Charlie Sheen would be my pick.

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