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Recipe SWAT Team to the Rescue

Recipe SWAT Team to the Rescue

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Figuring out what to cook every night can be a chore — but now it's one less thing to worry about. Why? Because we have it all figured out for you.

Click here to the Recipe SWAT Team to the Rescue Slideshow

"What exactly is the Recipe SWAT Team?" you may ask. It sounds awfully competitive, and potentially violent. Well, it is competitive, but it's never gotten violent — at least, not yet (not even when we had Recipe SWAT Team: Lobster for which we got some free live lobster).

It's an Iron Chef-style themed recipe contest that we hold in-house every week for The Daily Meal staff. Originally conceived in the early days of The Daily Meal by Yasmin Fahr, the founding Cook editor, the vision for Recipe SWAT Team was to give the staff a new way to express their creativity each week and to inspire readers to cook along with us and experiment at home. (And perhaps, for us to "ride to the rescue" of home cooks in need of a bit of help.)

While it's a lot of fun, it is, indeed, a lot of work each week. Each week, we pick a star ingredient or theme, our editors decide what they're going to cook, and we make a shopping list. Once the groceries arrive, the competitors have just three days to take a pretty photo and write up a coherent recipe and intro. By Friday, the recipes are edited, posted to our site, and wrapped up neatly into a story. Whatever night they choose to make their recipe, you can be assured that our staff members are in the same boat you're in on a typical weeknight — pressed for time, tired, and most importantly, hungry. So these recipes are about as real as they get. Most of them are easy enough to execute on a busy weeknight and don't have weird ingredients, and all have been taste-tested by the trusty The Daily Meal staff.

The very first Recipe SWAT Team theme was (drumroll, please) — chicken, of course. (Did you really expect anything else?) Since then, there have been a few changes, most notable of course, the recent inclusion of the members of the Culinary Content Network on Facebook. The Culinary Content Network is a community of serious bloggers who love to cook and develop recipes. Every Friday, we announce the next week's theme ingredient on the Cook channel page, as well as on the Culinary Content Network Facebook group. Recipes are then submitted throughout the following week for inclusion in the Friday post. If you're a serious food blogger and develop your own original recipes, this would be a great opportunity for you to increase your exposure and really get your name out there — and the winner gets a cookbook!

As a tribute to the now long and storied history of Recipe SWAT Team, we've decided to start a collection of all the Recipe SWAT Teams — ever. So you can find your favorite one from the past and see what the latest and greatest is from our home kitchens. Be sure to check back each week as we add an oldie from the archives, as well as the week's latest creations.

Will Budiaman is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.

FBI Enhanced SWAT Career Information

There are 56 FBI field offices across the country, and every one of these offices maintains a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. However, for the toughest situations imaginable, the FBI also possesses Enhanced SWAT teams.

Enhanced SWAT teams are law enforcement professionals who have received the most extensive training imaginable. Members of Enhanced SWAT teams are recruited from both the military and the police, and each team can have as many as forty-two members. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a member of an Enhanced SWAT team, it’s important that you learn about some of the skills that you will need and the duties of this law enforcement job.

Winter squash to the rescue, with 8 great recipes

Food Editor Russ Parsons gives the low-down on what to do with winter squash.

Steam it, roast it, fry it, serve it whole or in a puree, there are few vegetables more adaptable than winter squash. And it’s a good thing, because at this time of year, we rely on it a lot.

There are so many different types of winter squash out there that it can get intimidating – everything from tender Delicata to pumpkins the size of a small house. This offers a lot of opportunity for exploration, but if you want to play it safe, there are two or three varieties you can almost always find that reliably have great flavor.

Butternut squash is long and somewhat dumbbell-shaped. It’s almost flesh-colored with one bulbous end where the seeds are.

Kabocha squash is a relatively recent addition to the American squash collection, imported from Japan. And it looks it – the hard green and orange shell looks like a particularly rustic form of raku pottery.

Acorn squash are the most familiar to most shoppers. It’s the slightly heart-shaped (or, more accurately, acorn-shaped) squash that can come in colors ranging from dark green to vivid orange.

The great thing about all of these squash is that they can be used more or less interchangeably. A recipe that calls for butternut can be made with acorn with only a slight variation in flavor.

How to choose: Look for squash with deep, saturated colors and no soft spots or cracks. The stem should be hard and corky too.

How to store: Keep winter squash in a cool, dark place. You don’t need to refrigerate them.

How to prepare: Here’s a recipe for happiness during the coming rainy season: Hack off a chunk of winter squash and remove the seeds place it cut-side down in a pan with just a little water, and roast it at 400 degrees until the whole thing collapses into a sweet, fragrant, slightly caramelized puree.

Next Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Low-FODMAP Diet Dinners from Phoebe Lapine

Welcome to Next Week’s Meal Plan!Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But I’m a firm believer that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. I want to help you find inspiration and ease some of the pain points that come with getting dinner on the table night after night, whether you’re cooking for one or a family of eight. Every week, I’ll be sharing a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor.

Author, food and health writer, podcast host, and gluten-free chef Phoebe Lapine believes kale margaritas are better than no margaritas at all. After she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in her mid-20s, she stepped away from her full-time job and turned her focus to learning how to heal her body with wholesome comfort food. Since then, she’s been on a mission to help others facing similar issues. Her blog, Feed Me Phoebe, and her debut book, The Wellness Project, are both packed with healthy comfort-food recipes and insights about balanced lifestyle choices beyond what’s on your plate. Phoebe follows a low-FODMAP diet (more on that below), and when it comes to weeknight dinners, she’s all about comforting, feel-good meals that are easy and delicious.

A Week of Easy and Delicious Low-FODMAP Dinners

Last year, a medical diagnosis forced me to try out a low-FODMAP diet to heal my gut. For those who don’t know what this is, the diet is an acronym that stands for certain types of fermentable carbohydrates. It’s incredibly complicated to remember the rules. But among the biggest items on the omission list are garlic and onion, which makes it nearly impossible to eat at restaurants. Needless to say, meal planning and prep came to the rescue in a big way. I’ve since been on a mission to make cooking for this diet a whole lot more delicious and less painful (including creating this FREE e-book of low-FODMAP weeknight meals). The below dinners not only fit within the parameters of this IBS diet, but are also generally anti-inflammatory and nutrient-dense, which isn’t always true of low-FODMAP recipes.

Monday: Low-FODMAP Chicken Cacciatore

Garlic-infused oil helps make this Italian classic safe for those suffering from SIBO or IBS. But even if you’re not in that camp, it’s simply an easy, one-pan delicious weeknight recipe that’s gluten- and dairy-free.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bonbons

These cookies cum candies are an absolute must for Christmas. Make these chocolate peanut butter bonbons a traditional holiday cooking event with the kids. These are sort of like an upscale Reese's peanut butter cup made seasonal for Christmas with dates and richer with dark chocolate. Be sure to buy unchopped dates and chop them yourself the prechopped type coated in sugar are too dry for the recipe.

Making SWAT: 4 vital components for making the team

I’m often asked, “What can I do to prepare myself to make SWAT?” There isn’t one single thing a young officer can do that will make him or her look more appealing than others. However, there are four key components that will stand out on your resume. These four key components are essential to be a successful SWAT operator, so use them to guide your career and let them mold you character as a police officer. By doing so, you’ll gain the advantage in making the team — and along the way you’ll quickly become a better cop. Those four components are:

1. Training
2. Teamwork
3. Physical Conditioning
4. Motivation

SWAT is an elite special operations unit within a police agency. SWAT officers train to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities and training of regular uniformed officers. SWAT officers are selected from volunteers within their law enforcement organization. SWAT applicants undergo a tough selection process and should attend rigorous training. The four abovementioned components are vital for successful selection to the SWAT unit.

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Building an agency’s first SWAT team

Once the decision is made to develop a SWAT team, the agency administrator will put together a group of people to begin the process

Most applicants are given a physical agility test, written examination, and an oral interview. Some officers may be required to take a psychological test.
After selection, SWAT officers should attend and pass specialty courses such as a basic SWAT course or a basic sniper course. These courses will train the officer to become a qualified SWAT operator—an individual whose duties will likely include:

• Armed patrols
• Countering terrorist operations
• Counter-sniper operations
• Crime suppression
• Hostage rescue
• Providing assistance on warrant service
• Providing security at special events
• Providing superior weapons systems and tactics in dangerous situations
• Rescue operations of injured citizens and officers
• Resolving barricaded gunmen, hostage crisis, and suicidal subjects
• Resolving high-risk situations with a minimum loss of life, injury, or property
• Riot control
• Stabilizing dangerous situations dealing with violent criminals

The Four Components
Training: Attend as much training as your department will allow. Focus on tactics and firearms training. Get involved with as much training as possible, especially those things which require an officer to acquire instructor certification such as defensive tactics, firearms, and close quarter battle tactics.

Teamwork: SWAT commanders will not take officers who have been unable to work in a team environment. Helping out other officers and taking constructive criticism while working in uniform are good ways to help your chances of making SWAT.

Physical Conditioning: Most SWAT teams have a physical fitness test during the selection process. The tests may include running, pushups, sit-ups, or obstacle courses. Staying in top physical shape is beneficial for your uniformed duties and a great way to prepare yourself for the selection process.

Motivation: Police work has its trials and tribulations and staying positive 24/7 is a healthy thing to do. More importantly it’s the SWAT officers whose resilience gives them a positive attitude toward the job (and life) during stressful times get to become SWAT.

Recently, my department interviewed 50 Special Response Team applicants. As the team commander, I sat in the interviews and was a part of the selection process. Some of the factors that I personally considered in addition to the four components during the selection process included:

1. How trainable is the applicant?
2. Does the officer operate with humility or does his ego prevent him from absorbing critical information during training?
3. Does the officer display the necessary cognitive thinking skills required of a SWAT operator?
4. What is the officer’s work ethic on the street?
5. Does the officer display the appropriate social relationships with fellow officers?
6. Does the officer display the “warrior spirit” necessary for special operations?

When you consider all that has been mentioned, these factors and components can be found in many senior patrol officers that aren’t a part of SWAT. Something that I found beneficial to me in the Army — and as a rookie cop — was to emulate one of those senior officers who was well respected by their peers. It’s often difficult for rookie officers to define their police character, so start by picking up positive traits of a well-respected senior officer. As the years go by you will change the way you operate to become your own person, but the foundation has been laid.

Take these considerations with you, never give up, and work hard until you make SWAT.

Good luck and stay safe,
Sgt. Glenn French

About the author

Glenn French, a retired Sergeant with the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Police Department, has 24 years police experience and served as the Team Commander for the Special Response Team, and supervisor of the Sterling Heights Police Department Training Bureau. He has 16 years SWAT experience and also served as a Sniper Team Leader, REACT Team Leader, and Explosive Breacher.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team (Bomb Squad)

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team (EOD, or “bomb squad”) cadre provides statewide coverage for the detection and disposal of explosive weapons. This group of highly-trained professionals is built on a foundation of seven nationally accredited state and local teams: Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, the Quad Cities, Waterloo, Johnson County/City of Marion, Pottawattamie County, and the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office.

These teams are fully operational and can be deployed to any location in the state. All bomb squad technicians are required to have been trained in a rigorous three-month program at the FBI’s National Academy in Quantico, Va. Each team is comprised of at least two trained bomb technicians.

Although there is often much interest in joining these teams, it is extremely competitive and bomb techs are chosen from the existing members of each local police department. Officers may serve in their departments for several years before getting the opportunity to train as a bomb technician.

Region IV Disaster Saw Team

The Region IV Disaster Saw Team uses chainsaws to clear debris from the right-of-way to provide access for first responders immediately following the aftermath of a severe storm. The team is comprised of firefighters from volunteer agencies. The team is sponsored by Pottawattamie County Emergency Management and currently boasts approximately 60 members throughout southwest Iowa.

A local county emergency management agency may request deployment of the team through HSEMD to assist with initial debris management efforts when the need exceeds local capabilities.

Membership on the saw team is competitive and location-dependent, and at present the team is not soliciting new members. If you have questions about the Region IV Disaster Saw Team you may contact the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Director Doug Reed.

How to stand up a regional SWAT team

This feature is part of our new PoliceOne Digital Edition , a quarterly supplement to that brings a sharpened focus to some of the most challenging topics facing police chiefs and police officers everywhere. To read all of the articles included in the Summer 2016 issue, click here .

By Glenn French, Police1 Columnist

The slow growth of the nation’s economy over the past decade has posed challenges for police agencies in maintaining their operational effectiveness. City leaders were obligated in 2008 to make cuts in areas of their police agencies that they felt would make the least impact on those agencies’ ability to respond to calls for service. Agencies started cutting salaries, staffing and budgets to meet the significant losses in tax revenues and the reduction of federal grants.

Various types of programs were eliminated from police agencies across the country. Programs such as DARE, bike patrol, motor units, aviation units and others sustained significant cuts or even elimination. SWAT teams were not immune to this phenomenon, and some police agencies downsized or even eliminated their tactical units. That sent tactical commanders searching for viable options to present to their chiefs and city leaders so that they could maintain their current readiness.

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This PoliceOne Digital Edition focuses on how the past and present will shape the future of SWAT in the United States.

During my career on SWAT I served on regional swat teams, a city SWAT team and even a hybrid metro team comprising several large tactical SWAT teams. Each of these teams had its unique advantages and disadvantages. However, for the smaller agency struggling to meet its payroll, a regional SWAT team may be your answer in this economy of little growth and minimal federal funding.

It’s a numbers thing
A regional SWAT team often includes several police agencies within its organization. These departments will donate officers and equipment to the regional team, providing a large pool of people and resources that the smaller agency would not have available.

The biggest advantage from a team commander’s perspective is that the talent on a regional team in many cases can be significantly greater than a team from a smaller agency. More than half of the police agencies in this country have fewer than 50 full-time sworn officers in their ranks, and a police agency with 50 full-time cops would find it very difficult to field a properly outfitted SWAT team with the appropriate number of team members.

If seven police agencies have around 30-50 total cops in their departments and each selects three of its best officers to lend to a regional team, then the regional team now has 21 tactical operators. Conversely, if those same agencies had their own 21-man SWAT teams, they would likely struggle to find 21 capable and willing cops among their relatively small pools of officers who can operate at the high standards that every tactical team should be held to.

That’s not to say that small agencies don’t have great SWAT teams. I have worked with and trained some very high-speed tactical teams that come from small agencies. My experience has been that these teams don’t lower their standards to allow for the chief’s cousin to play SWAT. The team commanders will train and outfit their small teams with the same high standards that every team is expected to meet.

Developing your P&Ps
Developing a regional SWAT team starts with a host agency that can house and be the primary lead for the development and ongoing maintenance of the regional team. Then all of the participating agencies are identified and the command structure is selected and put in place. The command structure doesn’t necessarily come from the host agency. The team commander and the team leaders should be selected for their qualifications, experience and their ability to lead. These leaders will now have the painful task of developing the regional SWAT team’s policy and procedures.

The most important components of developing a regional SWAT team are its policy and procedures, along with its operating standards. I speak from experience, as I was tasked to develop my agency’s policy and procedures when we left a regional team to start our city team.

Later in life I was also a part of developing the metro SWAT team’s policy and procedures. What I found is that allowing input from as many qualified people as possible promotes great policy. Also, utilizing professional and government resources will help guide you to a solid policy.

The policy and procedures should outline operating rules, guidelines, team structure, call out procedures, training requirements, physical standards, selection criteria and sanctioned equipment, to name a few. There are a lot of team commanders out there (and some near you), so don’t be shy to ask these leaders for help, suggestions and a copy of their agency’s policy and procedures to use as a baseline.

I recommend reviewing at least three local SWAT teams’ policies and at least one SWAT team policy from a large agency. This is a sure way to get a solid foundation and a good start. The policy and procedures will now need to be reviewed by each police agency’s chief and city attorney to get their final approval before you move forward.

Selecting your team
Now that the SWAT team commander, team leaders and the policy and procedures are in place, it’s time to select the team members. It’s my opinion that the team commander and team leaders be allowed to select the candidates they feel suit their team’s needs. They should be allowed to conduct an oral board to interview the prospective candidates and review their resumes. Interview at least three times the number of officers you need.

For example, if a police agency will be contributing three officers to the regional SWAT team, the chief should send 10 potential candidates to the oral board so that the top three officers can be selected. The chief should send only officer candidates that he or she pre-approves and allow freedom of selection by the oral board. Some agencies may even conduct physical fitness tests as a part of their selection requirements.

Keep in mind that if your officers are represented by a union, get the union’s input and approval of the process in advance to avoid a potential grievance.

Beginning your training
Training is the priority once the team is in place. Equipment must be purchased for the officers who don’t come from an existing SWAT team.

Training the team is just as important as developing the policy and procedures, particularly because the team will most likely get experienced SWAT cops from various agencies trained from different perspectives. There is no one master document containing training goals and objectives for all SWAT instructors to utilize in their SWAT training.

There are as many different philosophies on the proper way to clear an objective as there are weapon choices. I prefer that the experienced leadership develop at least a 40-hour basic SWAT officer course followed by a 40-hour advanced SWAT officer course. I also suggest that this course be sanctioned by a professional entity. I always had the state agency that sanctions police training to approve and sanction the course. This is a small price to pay when you are sitting in a federal courtroom explaining the legitimacy of your SWAT cops’ training.

There are also plenty of professional outfits that you can hire to provide the training, and it’s a much easier process, but it can be expensive. I prefer to conduct the initial basic and advanced SWAT courses myself so that I can get a real feel for the officers and the team’s strengths and weaknesses. That allows me to make the necessary corrections on the spot. However, I always sent my SWAT cops to various tactical schools as continuing education. When they returned, they would provide the team a block of training on the good and bad points of that course so that we could all grow from the experience.

Standing up the team
At this point it’s time to report to the chiefs that the regional SWAT team is operational. I liked to put on a dog-and-pony show for the brass and city leaders. A well-planned and rehearsed demonstration/training scenario, complete with a sniper-initiated assault, an explosive breach and hostage rescue utilizing all of your equipment such as armored cars, smoke and flashbangs, tends to provide a little confidence in their investment and decision.

With the right planning and preparation, multiple agencies can come together to serve the wider community effectively.

About the author

The Police1 Digital Edition brings a sharpened focus to some of the most challenging topics facing police officers and law enforcement leaders everywhere. Each Digital Edition features contributions from some of the top experts and most progressive thinkers in the field. Download to access thought leadership content and innovation in action that will help transform operations in any agency.

Team members are on call to respond to incidents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On a moment’s notice, the team could be called on to respond a tactical situation that involves an armed barricaded subject, a hostage situation, or any other high-risk situation that requires their specialized training and abilities.

SED members are trained in a variety of skills including tactical shooting, tactical entry, the use of distraction devices, chemical agents, helicopter insertions, rappelling, fast roping, and other skills. The SED also regularly conducts training with other Sheriff’s Department units such as the CINT, the Explosive Ordnance Unit (EOU), and the Air Operations Unit. They have also trained with the San Francisco PD, the LAPD, and the California Highway Patrol.

Spotsylvania Sheriff's OFFICE

The Patrol Division&rsquos primary objective is to improve the quality of life of and carry out a partnership with the citizens of Spotsylvania County through swift response to calls for service and proactive initiatives. To accomplish this mission, the Patrol Division is organized into three main parts: Patrol, Traffic Enforcement Safety Unit, and the School Resource Unit. Each of these units has a distinct role to play in the overall operation of the Sheriff&rsquos Office.

The patrol function is broken down into three Platoons. Each of the platoons operate on a permanent fixed schedule to provide first responders to handle calls for service from citizens, provide proactive patrol in the community, conduct traffic enforcement, and protect the children that attend county schools.

In addition to the units that have organizational structure there are other very important and vital specialty and support units that comprise the remainder of the Patrol Division. Among these are the following: Bike Patrol, SWAT, K-9 Unit, Dive Team, Search and Rescue Team, Honor Guard, Marine Operations, Explorer Program, Mounted Patrol Unit, Crisis Negotiations Team, Project Lifesaver, and Unmanned Aircraft System.


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