In March of 1997, Sheriff Conway identified the need for his department to have personnel specifically trained to assist in serving “High Risk Warrants.” The team was originally named “Special Warrant Service,” or “SWS”. Over the next several years, the internal team structure and levels of command were established which included entry and containment, marksman, tactical support, technical support, negotiations, command and tactical medics. The name change from “SWS” to Special Weapons and Tactics, SWAT, occured in January of 2007.
Since its inception in 1997, the team has grown considerably. Personnel are assigned from three agencies, including the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department, City of Lawrenceville Police Department, and the Gwinnett County Fire Department. The SWAT Tactical and Negotiation personnel have a Type II Classification. Only full-time teams are eligible for Type I status.