The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Greater Los Angeles
Greater Los Angeles is the second-largest urban region in the United States, encompassing five counties in southern California, extending from Ventura County in the west to San Bernardino County and Riverside County on the east, with Los Angeles County in the center and Orange County to the southeast. It consists of three metropolitan areas in Southern California. Throughout the 20th century, it was one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, although growth has slowed since 2000; as of the 2010 U. S. Census, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of nearly 13 million residents. Meanwhile, the larger metropolitan region's population at the 2010 census was estimated to be over 17.8 million residents, a 2015 estimate reported a population of about 18.7 million. Either definition makes it the second largest metropolitan region in the country, behind the New York metropolitan area, as well as one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world; the agglomeration of the urbanized Greater Los Angeles area surrounds the urban core of Los Angeles County.
The regional term is defined to refer to the more-or-less continuously urbanized area stretching from Ventura County to the southern border of Orange County and from the Pacific Ocean to the Coachella Valley in the Inland Empire. The US Census Bureau defines the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area as including the entire Los Angeles County, Ventura County, Orange County and the two counties of the Inland Empire. However, this Census definition includes large, sparsely populated and desert swaths of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties that are not part of the urbanized region; the term "Greater Los Angeles" does not include San Diego County, whose urbanized area is separated from San Clemente, the southernmost contiguous urbanized area south of Los Angeles, by a 16.4-mile stretch of the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a total area of 4,850 square miles, while the wider combined statistical area covers 33,954 square miles, making it the largest metropolitan region in the United States by land area.
However, more than half of this area lies in the sparsely populated eastern areas of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. In addition to being the nexus of the world's largest entertainment industry, Greater Los Angeles is a global center of business, international trade, media, tourism and technology, transportation. Los Angeles has a long-standing reputation for sprawl; the area is in fact sprawling, but according to the 2000 census, the "Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim" Urbanized Area had a population density of 7,068 inhabitants per square mile, covering 1,668 square miles of land area, making it the most densely populated Urbanized Area in the United States. For comparison, the "New York–Newark" Urbanized Area as a whole had a population density of 5,309 per square mile, covering 3,353 square miles of land area. Los Angeles' sprawl may originate in the region's decentralized structure, its major commercial and cultural institutions are geographically dispersed rather than being concentrated in a single downtown or central area.
The population density of Los Angeles proper is low when compared to some other large American cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Densities are high within a 5-mile radius of downtown, where some neighborhoods exceed 20,000 people per square mile. What gives the entire Los Angeles metro region a high density is the fact that many of the city's suburbs and satellites cities have high density rates. Within its urbanized areas, Los Angeles is noted for having small lot sizes and low-rise buildings. Buildings in the area are low when compared to other large cities due to zoning regulations. Los Angeles became a major city just as the Pacific Electric Railway spread population to smaller cities much as interurbans did in East Coast cities. In the first decades of the twentieth century, the area was marked by a network of dense but separate cities linked by rail; the ascendance of the automobile helped fill in the gaps between these commuter towns with lower-density settlements. Starting in the early twentieth century, there was a large growth in population on the western edges of the city moving to the San Fernando Valley and out into the Conejo Valley in eastern Ventura County.
Many working class whites migrated to this area during the 1960s and 1970s out of East and Central Los Angeles. As a result, there was a large growth in population into the Conejo Valley and into Ventura County through the US 101 corridor. Making the US 101 a full freeway in the 1960s and expansions that followed helped make commuting to Los Angeles easier and opened the way for development westward. Development in Ventura County and along the US 101 corridor remains controversial, with open-space advocates battling those who feel business development is necessary to economic growth. Although the area still has abundant amount of open space and land all of it was put aside and mandated never to be developed as part of the master plan of each city; because of this, the area, once a inexpensive area to buy real estate, saw rising real estate prices well into the 2000s. Median home prices in the Conejo Valley for instance, ranged from $700,000 to
LAPD Air Support Division
The Los Angeles Police Department Air Support Division is the airborne law enforcement program of the LAPD. It is the largest municipal airborne law enforcement organization in the United States and operates from the LAPD Hooper Heliport. While devoted to aerial traffic enforcement, it has grown to support a wide variety of police activity. Today, its operations are divided between Air Support To Regular Operations and Special Flight Section; the ASD motto is The mission is the same, only the vehicle has changed. The Air Support Division operates 19 aircraft of 2 different models, maintains the largest municipal police aviation unit around the world, in addition to having the world's largest roof-top airport and world's busiest heliport; the Air Support Division was established as the LAPD Helicopter Unit in 1956 with one Hiller UH-12C three-seat helicopter. They added a second helicopter in 1963 and a third in 1965; the city operated 47J model helicopters. In 1968, the unit received its first turbine powered helicopter the Bell 206A JetRanger, which decreased police response times.
With a major expansion in 1974, the Helicopter Unit was renamed the Air Support Division. At that time, the ASD grew to one Cessna 210 manned by 77 sworn personnel. In 1976, the ASD added the Special Flight Section, a unit dedicated to supporting undercover police operations. In this support role, SFS is a significant contributor to narcotics and serialized criminal investigations. In 1989, the ASD added its first Aerospatiale AS350 B1; the city retired the older piston models. Two officers with at least three years of patrol car service fly in each air unit. Air units today provide aerial surveillance for vehicle pursuits, large crowd demonstrations, drug interdiction as well for SAR missions. Air units are automatically requested when initiating a traffic stop on a "code 37" vehicle, or suspect with known wants or warrants that are a felony in order to limit the potential for a pursuit. Aircraft will not fly during poor weather due to aviation safety. To provide Air Support to patrol and specialized units of the Los Angeles Police Department.
To enhance officer and public safety, reduce the incidence of crime and thus reduce the fear of crime. To accomplish this mission we will provide rapid response, tactical insight and airborne assessments of incidents, in a safe and professional manner. Today the Air Support Division consists of 88 sworn personnel and 19 helicopters which include two Bell 206B3 JetRangers, 10 Eurocopter AS-350B2 AStars, 4 Airbus H125, one Bell 412 and one Beechcraft King Air 200 twin-engined aircraft; the city of Los Angeles flew a fleet of Bell 407s in the late 1990s as a replacement for the AS-350B1s. However, in 2000 the LAPD started replacing the 407s with more powerful AS-350B2s. Two of the 407s were sold to the General Services Department which uses the helicopters on flights for the Department of Water and Power. 10 American Eurocopter AS350 B2 A-Star 4 Airbus H125 2 Bell 206 JetRanger 1 Bell 412 1 Beechcraft King Air 200 On November 30, 1964, Sergeant Norman D. Piepenbrink was killed in a helicopter accident.
On August 30, 1966, Policemen Larry Amberg and Alex N. Ilnicki, were on traffic patrol in Air 1 flying in the vicinity of Dodger Stadium, a media helicopter was in the area reporting on freeway traffic conditions. Air 1 and the media helicopter collided, resulting in the deaths of both officers and the occupants of the media helicopter. Policeman Ilnicki had about 401 hours of total flight time and 236 hours in type at the time of the crashOn May 29, 1974, Commander Paul J. Gillen was killed when his helicopter crashed. On June 11, 1976, Officer Jeffrey B. Lindenberg was killed when the Bell 47G-5 helicopter he was training in lost power and crashed while landing. Lindenberg was practicing simulated urban high-rise rooftop landings at an off-site pad on top of a small mountain near the Los Angeles Zoo in the hills above Hollywood. On short final approach, the engine lost power and the helicopter impacted 4 inches short of the pad; the Helicopter rolled down the mountain side 162 feet. Lindenberg was killed and another officer was injured.
Lindenberg had been with the agency for seven years. Lindenberg was an experienced instrument rated pilot with 3575 hours of total flight time and 426 in type. On March 1, 1983, Reserve Officer Stuart Taira was killed as a result of a police helicopter crash. Taira, an observer for the helicopter unit, two other officers were conducting aerial patrols following a tornado. In between patrols the officers were dispatched to investigate a report of a burglar on a roof; as the helicopter took off it struck a power line. The officers survived Taira was able to exit the aircraft. Taira returned to the aircraft in an attempt to rescue his two partners. One of the helicopter's rotors struck Taira in the head. Taira was posthumously awarded the department's Medal of Valor. On June 13, 1991, Officers Gary Alan Howe and Charles Randall Champe were killed when they experienced an in-flight engine failure which caused their helicopter to crash into a parking lot, they were flying an AS350B1 helicopter. LAPD Hooper Heliport Police aviation LAPD Air Support Division
Armored car (valuables)
An armored car is an armored van or truck, used in transporting valuables, such as large quantities of money. The armored car is a multifunctional vehicle designed to protect and ensure the wellbeing of the transported individuals and/or contents. Armored cars are bulletproof and can withstand extreme degrees of heat; these vehicles are utilized by the military, but many companies such as Mercedes, Toyota, Audi, BMW have created armored cars for civilian use to protect valuables and dignitaries. Armored cars have an armored shell and cab, are customized on a basic van or truck chassis; these vehicles are designed to resist attempts at hijacking. Bullet-resistant glass and reinforced shells and cabs are designed to resist bullets from most handguns and rifles; the idea of the armored vehicle dates back to Leonardo da Vinci's sketches of an armored war vehicle, in 1485. It consisted of a circular platform on four wheels with light cannons arranged facing out; this design, proved to be flawed. The earliest form of armored transportation for valuables that went into production were the "ironclad" treasure wagons designed by the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage Company during the American Old West.
Back a platoon of soldiers and cavalrymen were used to transport valuables such as gold safely across the lawless frontier. They were not always successful in escorting their valuables and some robbers managed to hold up and rob these transports, such as what happened in the Wham Paymaster robbery and the Skeleton Canyon massacres. In Deadwood, the Cheyenne and Black Hills Stage Company suffered robberies along the criminal-infested Deadwood to Cheyenne trail that resulted in the death of one of their shotgun messengers named Johnny Slaughter. In order to deter bandits and prevent future robberies, the Stage Company built two steel-plated treasure coaches named Slaughter and Monitor; the stagecoaches had 5/16th-inch thick steel plates, portholes for guards to shoot from, inside of each coach was a strongbox with walls three inches thick, bolted to the floor, was said to be able to resist assaults for 24 hours. Although the stage coaches were impenetrable, they still left its driver and shotgun messenger unprotected.
On September 26, 1878, the Monitor was attacked by the Charles Carey Gang. The gang killed one of the passengers, stopped the carriage and took over $27,000 worth of gold and valuables. Among the first armored cars built was the Bellamore Armored Motor Bank Car, of 1910, meant to function like the banking service armored cars of today, but as a mobile bank branch, it was built on an Autocar Type XXI truck. It was not until Rolls-Royce came out with the Rolls-Royce Ghost in August 1914 that the first armored vehicle was introduced to the British military; the vehicle proved to be superior during the war, creating a demand for armored cars across the globe. In 1930, Mercedes Benz introduced the Nurburg 460, an armored car used to protect Pope Pius XI; as the armored car became more and more popular, vehicle manufacturers around the world started creating their own versions. Financial industry: the armored car is used to transport money from one destination to another safely; this benefits the bank because it gives the bank employees more time to work with the customers, provides a security net to the owner knowing their money is in good hands.
Education industry: schools utilize the armored car for safely transporting money made by school fund raisers or cafeteria profits. Many universities have within their confines a university bank, they may require the use of an armored car to handle large amounts of money. Jewelry industry: many jewelers such as Jared, Kay and Hollands, Tiffany Co utilize armored cars to transport their valuable jewelry safely to their stores. Jewelers work with precious metals and valuable gemstones, they need to make sure that their work can be safely carried to the person who has ordered it. An armored shell and cab are customized on a basic truck chassis; these vehicles are designed to resist attempts at hijacking. Bullet-resistant glass and reinforced shells and cabs are designed to handle bullets from most handguns and rifles; some armored cars in certain countries may be cleared to have flashing warning sirens. Most armored cars have a bull bar or extra strong bumper to ram blockades or other road objects if under attack.
They have CCTV cameras which are watched by the driver, recorded in the van and recorded at a remotely located control room in case the in-van recordings are stolen by thieves or attackers. A number of tools are applied to prevent access to the van by non-security staff including removing external door locks; the vehicle may not be manned by armed guards. Such armored cars are operated by security firms, are therefore referred to as "security vans". Most armored cars have two to three occupants: A driver, never allowed to leave the vehicle until it returns to the garage One or two guards who deliver the cash or valuablesTheir main duty is to stay watchful, to load and unload the valuables as fast as possible. Depending on the jurisdiction, the guards may be armed, sometimes with handguns on their person and shotguns in the vehicle; these guards are required to undergo firearms training and may have to apply for and have permits for being a guard or to carry an exposed firearm. Training may include guidance on remaining calm in emergency situations, such as confronting armed criminals, assi
Central business district
A central business district is the commercial and business center of a city. In larger cities, it is synonymous with the city's "financial district". Geographically, it coincides with the "city centre" or "downtown", but the two concepts are separate: many cities have a central business district located away from its commercial or cultural city centre or downtown; the CBD is also the "city centre" or "downtown", but this is often not the case. Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the world. For example, London's "city centre" is regarded as encompassing the historic City of London and the mediaeval City of Westminster, whereas the City of London and the transformed Docklands area are regarded as its two CBDs. Mexico City has a historic city centre, the colonial-era Centro Histórico, along with two CBDs: the mid-late 20th century Paseo de la Reforma - Polanco, the new Santa Fe; the shape and type of a CBD always reflect the city's history. Cities with strong preservation laws and maximum building height restrictions to retain the character of the historic and cultural core will have a CBD quite a distance from the centre of the city.
This is quite common for European cities such as Vienna. In cities in the New World that grew after the invention of mechanised modes such as road or rail transport, a single central area or downtown will contain most of the region's tallest buildings and act both as the CBD and the commercial and cultural city center. Increasing urbanisation in the 21st century have developed megacities in Asia, that will have multiple CBDs scattered across the urban area, it has been said. No two CBDs look alike in terms of their spatial shape, however certain geometric patterns in these areas are recurring throughout many cities due to the nature of centralised commercial and industrial activities. In Australia the acronym CBD is used commonly to refer to major city "centres", it is used in particular to refer to the skyscraper districts in state capital cities such as Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Melbourne is Australia's largest CBD with Sydney second and Brisbane third when judged by area size; the iTowers of Masa Square CBD were built for doing business tasks only.
It is located within Gaborone. In China terms "city centre" are used but a different commercial district outside of the historic core called a "CBD" or "Financial District" may exist. Large Chinese cities have multiple CBDs spread throughout the urban area. Cities traditionally being major cultural centres with many historic structures in the core such as Beijing, Suzhou or Xi'an will have the greenfield CBDs built adjacent to the urban core, similar to European cities. While other cities such as Guangzhou, Shanghai and Wuhan the city centre will house a number of CBDs in addition to greenfield CBDs built in the periphery. In France, the term « quartier d’affaires » may be used to describe the central business district; the main ones business districts in the country are as following: La Défense in Paris, which with 3,300,000 square metres of office space is Europe's leading business district in terms of area. La Part-Dieu in Lyon, is the 2nd largest business district in France and has nearly 1,600,000 square metres.
Euralille in Lille, is the 3rd business district of France with 1,120,000 square metres of offices. Euroméditerranée in Marseille, is the 4th business district in France with 650,000 square metres of offices. In Germany, the terms Innenstadt and Stadtzentrum may be used to describe the central business district. Both terms can be translated to mean "inner city" and "city centre"; some of the larger cities have more than one central business district, like Berlin, which has three. Due to Berlin's history of division during the Cold War, the city contains central business districts both in West and East Berlin, as well as a newly-built business centre near Potsdamer Platz; the city's historic centre — the location of the Reichstag building, as well as the Brandenburg gate and most federal ministries — was abandoned when the Berlin Wall cut through the area. Only after the reunification with the redevelopment of Potsdamer Platz, the construction of numerous shopping centers, government ministries, office buildings and entertainment venues, was the area revived.
In Frankfurt, there is a business district, in the geographical centre of the city and it is called the Bankenviertel. In Düsseldorf, there is a business district, located around the famous High-Street Königsallee with banks and offices. In Hong Kong, Sheung Wan and Causeway Bay are considered as the central business districts of Victoria City; the Yau Tsim Mong District has been considered the city centre of Kowloon before another core emerged in Cheung Sha Wan. As part of the Airport Core Programme, the Union Square project launched by the MTR Corporation has brought it another CBD in West Kowloon. With the latest implementation of "Energising Kowloon East" Scheme by the Hong Kong Government, Kowloon Bay and Kwun Tong Business Area have been redeveloped and transformed into CBDs; the CBDs of new towns and satellite cities such as Tuen Mun, Sha Tin and Tung Chung have been characterised by sky-scraping residential blocks on top of large shopping centres that provide services to local resi
Gangster Squad (LAPD)
The Gangster Squad was a special unit created by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1946 to keep the East Coast Mafia and organized crime elements out of Los Angeles. It was created by Chief of Police Clemence B. Horrall in 1946, it was an eight-man intelligence detail that would become known as the "Gangster Squad". Along with fighting organized crime, they were given the task of spying on corrupt cops. Criminals like Mickey Cohen, Jack Dragna, Bugsy Siegel, Jack Whalen, Jimmy Fratianno—to name a few—were just some of the targets the Gangster Squad went after. Much like what the 2013 film Gangster Squad notes about the real Gangster Squad, they waged war on crime and did things that would be considered illegal by today's standards; as the real life Sgt. Jack O'Mara stated in the Los Angeles Times for the online article "Crusaders in the underworld: The LAPD takes on organized crime", "We did a lot of things that we'd get indicted for today". William Worton headed up the LAPD in 1949 and increased the size of the team, as well as renaming it the Intelligence Division.
William Parker became Chief of Police in 1950, expanded the team more, including adding a female field team. The 2013 film Gangster Squad—though taking considerable creative liberty—was based on the LAPD's Gangster Squad. Jack Webb's 1954 film Dragnet is based on the Intelligence Division known as the Gangster Squad. Author James Ellroy used a different, fictionalized version of the Gangster Squad called the "Mobster Squad", in his L. A. Quartet novels; the team is introduced in L. A. is headed up by corrupt LAPD captain Dudley Smith. Their duties included beating confessions out of suspects, scaring criminals out of town, controlling and containing crime. Similar units are depicted in the 1996 film Mulholland Falls, in the 2013 miniseries Mob City the squad is referenced as "Horrall's gang of thugs". In the book L. A's Secret Police: Inside the Elite Spy Network former OCID detective Mike Rothmiller discusses how, during the 1970s and'80s, the OCID was more interested in celebrities and politicians than actual mobsters.
He was denied permission to meet a major mob informant in Las Vegas but resources were spent having six officers staking out a politician's beach house because of possible homosexual activity. The 1950 film 711 Ocean Drive depicts the Gangster Squad investigating a horse racing betting syndicate. Lieberman, Paul. Gangster Squad: Covert Cops, the Mob, the Battle for Los Angeles. New York: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 9781250020154. OCLC 811627745. Wolfe, Donald H.. The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780060582494. OCLC 62726017. Kinchen, David M.. "BOOK REVIEW:'Gangster Squad': Secretive L. A. P. D. Unit Goes After Mobsters in Post WW II Los Angeles"; the Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 January 2014. Lieberman, Paul. "L. A. Noir: Tales from the Gangster Squad". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 January 2014. A series of seven articles run from 26 October to 1 November 2008. Media related to Los Angeles Police Department at Wikimedia Commons
In the United States, a SWAT team is a law enforcement unit which uses specialized or military equipment and tactics. First created in the 1960s to handle riot control or violent confrontations with criminals, the number and usage of SWAT teams increased in the 1980s and 1990s during the War on Drugs and in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. In the United States as of 2005, SWAT teams were deployed 50,000 times every year 80% of the time to serve search warrants, most for narcotics. SWAT teams are equipped with military-type hardware and trained to deploy against threats of terrorism, for crowd control, hostage taking, in situations beyond the capabilities of ordinary law enforcement, sometimes deemed "high-risk". Other countries have developed their own paramilitary police units which are described as or comparable to SWAT forces. SWAT units are equipped with specialized firearms including submachine guns, assault rifles, breaching shotguns, sniper rifles, riot control agents, stun grenades.
In addition, they may use specialized equipment including heavy body armor, ballistic shields, entry tools, armored vehicles, night vision devices, motion detectors for covertly determining the positions of hostages or hostage takers, inside enclosed structures. The United States National Tactical Officers Association definition of SWAT is: SWAT: A designated law enforcement team whose members are recruited, trained and assigned to resolve critical incidents involving a threat to public safety which would otherwise exceed the capabilities of traditional law enforcement first responders and/or investigative units. According to the Historical Dictionary of Law Enforcement, the term "SWAT" was used as an acronym for the "Special Weapons and Tactics" established as a 100-man specialized unit in 1964 by the Philadelphia Police Department in response to an alarming increase in bank robberies; the purpose of this unit was to react and decisively to bank robberies while they were in progress, by utilizing a large number of specially trained officers who had at their disposal a great amount of firepower.
The tactic worked and was soon to resolve other types of incidents involving armed criminals. Los Angeles Police Department Inspector Daryl Gates has said that he first envisioned "SWAT" as an acronym for "Special Weapons Attack Team" in 1967, but accepted "Special Weapons and Tactics" on the advice of his deputy chief, Edward M. Davis; the LAPD promoted. After the racially charged Watts riots in Los Angeles in August 1965, the LAPD began considering tactics it could use when faced with urban unrest, rioting, or widespread violence. Daryl Gates, who led the LAPD response to the riots, would write that police at the time didn't face a single mob, but rather "people attacking from all directions." New York University professor Christian Parenti has written that SWAT teams were conceived of as an "urban counterinsurgency bulwark."Another reason for the creation of SWAT teams was the fear of lone or barricaded gunmen who might outperform police in a shootout, as happened in Austin with Charles Whitman.
After the LAPD's establishment of its own SWAT team, many law enforcement agencies across the United States established their own specialized units under various names. Gates explained in his autobiography Chief: My Life in the LAPD that he neither developed SWAT tactics nor the associated and distinctive equipment. While the public image of SWAT first became known through the LAPD because of its proximity to the mass media and the size and professionalism of the Department itself, the first actual SWAT-type operations were conducted north of Los Angeles in the farming community of Delano, California on the border between Kern and Tulare Counties in the San Joaquin Valley. At the time, the United Farm Workers union led by César Chavez was staging numerous protests in Delano in a strike that would last over five years. Though the strike never turned violent, the Delano Police Department responded by forming ad-hoc SWAT-type units involving crowd and riot control, sniper skills and surveillance.
Television news stations and print media carried live and delayed reportage of these events across the United States. Personnel from the LAPD, having seen these broadcasts, contacted Delano and inquired about the program. One officer obtained permission to observe the Delano Police Department's special weapons and tactics units in action, afterwards, he took what he had learned back to Los Angeles, where his knowledge was used and expanded on to form the LAPD's own first SWAT unit. John Nelson was the officer who conceived the idea to form a specially trained and equipped unit in the LAPD, intended to respond to and manage critical situations involving shootings while minimizing police casualties. Inspector Gates approved this idea, he formed a small select group of volunteer officers; this first SWAT unit consisted of fifteen teams of four men each, making a total staff of sixty. These officers were given special status and benefits, were required to attend special monthly training sessions.
The unit served as a security unit for police facilities during civil unrest. The LAPD SWAT units were organized as "D Platoon" in the Metro division. Early police powers and tactics used by SWAT teams were aided by legislation passed in 1967-8 with the help of Republican House representative Donald Santarelli; the legislation was promoted within the context of fears over the Civil Rights Movement, race riots, the Black Panther Party, the