As for SWAT. Many people are under the impression that being a SWAT team member is a full-time position. In 99% of departments, it’s not, it is what we call a secondary position. That means that you are a patrol police officer or detective or whatever position you are serving in and a SWAT member second. You carry all the SWAT gear in your assigned vehicle or its carried in the SWAT response vehicle, and when you are needed for a SWAT call out, they notify you and you respond to the location and become a SWAT team member.
That’s how secondary positions work. Other secondary positions in most places are teams like Dive team, Search and Rescue and others like these that are not needed all the time. SWAT teams require a lot of physical and mental discipline.
For most secondary positions you have to serve a number of years on the department before you can put in to be a member of one of these, but sometimes, if you have special talents (military sniper, EOD training, Dive Master…etc…) you can sometimes get a waiver of the time requirement based on departmental need. Don’t count on getting on any special team before your off probation though (your first 6 months to a year).
Here is a list of just some of the additional units available in the police department:
Child Protective Investigations Section
Contractor Licensing and Fraud Unit
Crime Scene and Crime Lab
Crime Stoppers Unit
Economic Crime Unit
Marine Unit and Dive Team
Mass Transit Unit
Regional Investigations Division
School Resource Deputy Unit
Victim Services Unit
And that not all of them. So you see there are many other specialty units you can get into.
So even if you get on SWAT you will still have to do regular police work, which in my humble opinion (LOL) is not that bad, actually the best part of police work. I have worked most areas, road patrol, detective, traffic and others and they were all fun and interesting.
I hope that gives you some ideas and things you can look forward too and check out. Good luck!