The Sheriff Department’s SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team is utilized in critical incidents to minimize dangers to the public, employees and suspects. A "critical incident" refers to hostage situations, armed barricaded subjects, sniper situations, other incidents that present a high degree of danger to life and/or property, search and rescues, crowd control events and any event requiring the response of specially trained personnel to resolve the situation. The task of coping with critical incidents is best accomplished with a highly trained and disciplined team possessing a superiority of weapons and tactical training designed to neutralize the incident with a judicious application of tactics in a manner that presents the minimum hazard to all involved. The SWAT Team is comprised of ten to twenty deputies who are trained in the use of special weapons, anti-sniper tactics, methods of capturing armed barricaded suspects, rescuing hostages, search and rescue, crowd control, disaster assistance and other tactics and skills necessary for resolution of critical incidents. Specialized SWAT training is conducted once a month in addition to all other department activities. Training usually consists of scenarios, coupled with repetitious team movement and firearm proficiency. The Department's SWAT Team is made up of Deputy volunteers with patrol experience who must pass an interview process, a rigorous physical test, a Basic SWAT Academy, and commit to monthly training activities. The team is supervised by a Team Leader, a Sergeant, and a Lieutenant.