Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

Peter B. Kraska

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

Gary W. Potter

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Third Advisor

Victor E. Kappeler

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies


The purpose of this study is to investigate the formation of SWAT teams on college campuses and some of the reasoning behind their deployments. The study provides an overview of the early formation of SWAT, policing in a college setting and finally the creation of such teams that began in municipal policing but have migrated into campus law enforcement.

Data for this study was collected using a 20 question survey sent to college campuses that are members of IACLEA or International association of college law enforcement administrators. The return rate was 37% and the surveys were analyzed using SPSS version 20.

The results provide some support for the idea that campus SWAT teams were not formed for the traditional role of SWAT, such as the barricaded subject, terrorist incident but for high risk warrant service, drug incidents.