Episode 2: Interview with LAPD SWAT Lt. Lee McMillion
In Episode 2 of With Deadly Force we conduct our first formal interview, and who better than the man in charge of our very own LAPD SWAT team! Lt. Lee McMillion has 32 years on LAPD and 20 of them on "D" Team, otherwise known as SWAT. Listen to Lt. McMillion provide insight on a variety of fascinating subjects including:
- SWAT's overall mission.
- LAPD SWAT's inception, evolution and capabilities.
- Team structure and disciplines.
- Who can apply for SWAT and who makes the cut.
- How LAPD SWAT training is conducted.
- Cross-training with other teams both domestic and abroad.
- Use of Force standards for SWAT officers and civilians.
- Responsibilities of a LAPD SWAT Lieutenant.
- How COVID-19 is affecting the team and their duties.
We also want to highlight a couple things that make LAPD SWAT such a special and capable team:
(In the words of Lt. Lee McMillion)
- "Of the 17,000+ law enforcement agencies in the United States, there are less than two dozen full-time SWAT teams in which at least 25 personnel are assigned full-time and only do SWAT work. Most agencies have SWAT as a collateral duty and/or combined resources with neighboring agencies for a regional team. As a result, capabilities of SWAT teams vary greatly. LAPD SWAT has 60 full-time SWAT officers."
- "Although the minimum threshold to go through selection is 4 years in the field as an LAPD officer, most have between 10 and 12 years before they go through selection. We want seasoned cops who know how to solve problems and who are skilled at communication. The average age in the platoon is about 40, which means we have a few personnel in their 50s -- and all personnel meet all the physical and tactile standards. With that age comes not only police experience, but life experience. The tenure of our personnel means that they all have families, they know loss, catastrophic illness, the struggles of life. They have compassion and they bring that to every incident. They know the value of a peaceful resolve."
Enjoy the episode!
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