EL PASO COUNTY – There is a trend showing threats from higher risk crime are on the rise in El Paso County. “Our numbers have just sky-rocketed,” said Sergeant Greg White. The indicator is El Paso County SWAT call-outs increasing significantly in recent years.
El Paso County Sheriff’s Office SWAT went out on 115 operations during 2018. Over the past two years the number is 214 times. It is more than double the two previous years. There were 60 operations in 2016 and in 2015 30 operations.
The most common reason for SWAT going out was to assist in serving high risk warrants related to narcotics. Those situations have higher odds of weapons also involved. Also common is dealing with people who barricade themselves trying to avoid arrest.
The increased SWAT activity brings questions from the public. Sheriff’s Office leaders want everyone to better understand SWAT members go out with some powerful tools, with the goal of preventing violence, injuries and loss of life. “If we show up and a bad guy comes out and we don’t have to hurt anybody, that’s our goal,” said White, “That’s a win for us.”