In the realm of law enforcement, few units command as much respect and intrigue as the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. These elite forces are tasked with handling the most dangerous and high-pressure situations, requiring a unique blend of physical prowess, mental fortitude and strategic awareness. To shed light on the inner foundations of SWAT and offer advice to aspiring members, Lt. Jonathan Brock, the assistant SWAT commander of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team, shares insight on the specialized career path. 

Brock’s journey into the world of SWAT began with a deep-seated desire to serve and protect. With seven years of prior law enforcement experience under his belt, he joined LCSD, recognizing the potential for growth and the opportunity to enhance safety protocols when engaging with the public. However, it was his admiration for the SWAT team members that truly ignited his ambition. 

“They were the people that I looked up to,” Lt. Brock recalls, citing their inspirational work ethic and professionalism. 

As Brock researched and gained an understanding of the SWAT team’s history and cultivating relationships within the unit, his determination to join their ranks intensified. The application process, though rigorous, was a testament to his commitment. From physical fitness tests to rounds of interviews and stress evaluations, Brock navigated the selection process with diligence and determination.


For potential SWAT applicants, Brock emphasizes the importance of balancing competency in their day-to-day responsibilities with the demands of SWAT duties. Continuous learning and professional development are also paramount, ensuring team members are equipped to handle the dynamic challenges they might face. Physical fitness and mental preparedness are non-negotiable, as SWAT operations require peak performance under extreme pressure.

Brock encourages potential recruits to “be a sponge when you first come into law enforcement” and to “grab everything you can, talk to everybody, and learn what’s new because law enforcement is ever-changing.” 

Assessing suitability for SWAT goes beyond physical capabilities. Brock underscores the significance of stress management, emotional intelligence and effective communication in tactical situations. During the recruitment process, so-called “red flags” are carefully scrutinized, ensuring only the most capable and resilient individuals are selected.


In terms of timeframe, Brock advises aspiring SWAT members to focus on building a solid foundation in law enforcement before pursuing specialized units. While there is no set timeline, he recommends at least a few years of experience to gain invaluable insights and develop essential skills.

SWAT plays a critical role in law enforcement, tackling some of the most challenging situations with precision and professionalism. To learn more about career opportunities with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, interested candidates are encouraged to explore available positions.


The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department SWAT unit was restructured in April 2006 and went live shortly thereafter. The team comprises members from all aspects of the department, including the Administrative Bureau, Patrol, Investigations, Narcotics, Region Command, Special Operations and the Reserve Unit. The unit is currently structured to have two teams of 10 led by team leaders. These teams fall under the direction of the SWAT commander. Within the unit, there is a designated four-person sniper element. 

The SWAT team is deployed to handle a wide array of high-risk situations including, but not limited to, narcotics search warrants, high-risk warrant services and barricaded or hostage situations. The SWAT team works with the negotiations team to peacefully resolve many of these situations. If you are interested in learning more about the SWAT unit and other teams at LCSD, visit the website.