No one is forced or required to perform in the hazardous job assignment. The officer must be in excellent physical and mental condition. The officer is required to pass a psychological exam prior to being picked as a team member. Swat Team Officers are required to pass a battery of physical fitness tests each month. As an example, an officer that is 29 years old is required to run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes and 41 seconds or less. Once a team member is picked, it takes an average of two years before the new member is trained to minimum level requirements. Needless to say, being a part of the team requires a great deal of dedication, discipline, motivation, and personal sacrifice. Team members are required to be on-call and tied to a pager 24 hrs. a day, able to respond to a critical incident in full gear in less than 30 minutes. The majority of the Swat Teams calls-for-service involves the execution of warrants. These include both arrest and search warrants where there are firearms involved or the potential for extreme violence exists. The team also responds to barricaded gunmen as well as hostage situations.
Of the ninteen team members, several are certified instructors in various subjects from defensive tactics to firearms and Chemical agents. Each team member must be qualified in multiple weapons, from submachine guns to assault rifles. One team member is also an emergency medical technician. The team members provide training to other officers within the Bay County Sheriff's Office as well as to other agencies. Sheriff Mckeithen believes the key to the teams success is training and dedication.