Raids and warrant service are a common part of law enforcement on a Federal, State and local level. Unfortunately, formal training in the planning and execution of raids is often neglected in both initial officer training and new agent training.  

Even though many officers are injured or killed responding to domestic disputes or performing routine traffic stops, warrant service continues to be one of the most dangerous assignments in law enforcement. Yet on a  daily basis, agents and officers are being tasked with  making forced  entries in search of dangerous suspects  and  evidence without the benefit of specialized tactical training.

In 1991, at the request of one federal agency, STTU developed a High Risk Warrant  Service program designed to standardize the approach of various agencies committed to counter narcotic task forces. At that time, an NTF team was made up of 10 agents and officers drawn from five different agencies, each with their own approach to raid operations. The 4-day STTU program gave the teams and team members a common training experience and standardized a method of raid planning and execution that was compatible with their own guidelines and policies.

The STTU High Risk Warrant Service Program was initially designed to be taught at federal law enforcement training centers, during new agent training or the annual in-service training  for  field agents. This program is also suitable for police academies  lacking  a  formal raid program, and for police officers  wishing  to up-grade  their skills in this area. In addition,  STTU  programs are  designed  to increase agent safety and  greatly  reduce  the agency's liability exposure.

STTU's Raid Programs are targeted at federal agents, narcotics and vice investigators, fugitive  apprehension units, gang squads, fraud and counterfeiting investigators and any other law enforcement personnel involved in high risk, low key operations.

The High Risk Warrant Service program will also be of value to patrol commanders, senior special agents, regional directors and administrators responsible for the supervision of raid teams.


As with other STTU programs, the structure of the High Risk Warrant Service program is flexible in nature and designed to meet the training needs of the host agency or academy. A full program is usually four to five days in length with a balance of classroom lectures, field exercises and range time. Several raid related subjects are covered such as intelligence gathering, tactical appreciations, aerial and surveillance photography, breaching, close quarter shooting and defensive tactics.

Several agencies, because of time or budgetary restrains have requested shorter, more intense programs concentrating on the planning and execution of raids only. In response, STTU has developed one, two and three day High Risk Warrant Service programs tailored to meet the individual agency's needs.


The STTU High Risk Warrant Service programs are a balance of classroom lectures, range time and field exercises, broken down into four primary areas:

Preparation • Training  • Planning  • Execution

In the shorter one and two day programs, most of the time is spent either in the classroom or on the range, leaving it up to the host agency to run their own field exercises at a later date.

Preparation is the initial classroom part of the program where agents cover such subjects as:

• Weapons Selection
• Radios and Communications
• Forced Entry Tools
• Raid Team Selection
• Entry Team Structure
• Training Considerations
• The SWAT Option

Training is the more physically demanding, hands on part of the raid program. After a safety lecture, agents will be exposed to the latest combat shooting techniques and tactics suitable for dynamic entry and room combat. Subjects include:

• Advanced Tactical Shooting
• Firearms Retention
• Defensive Tactics
• Basic Team Tactics
• Entry Procedures
• Room Combat
• Suspect Handling

Planning is a combination of lectures, field exercises and student presentations. This is the most academically demanding part of the program, covering such subjects as:

• Intelligence Gathering
• Suspect Investigation
• Location Scouting
• Surveillance Photography
• Inter-Agency Cooperation
• Command and Coordination
• Briefing Procedures
• Operational Security
• Rehearsals

Execution is always the most interesting part of the program since this is where the preparation, training and planning all come together.  This part of the program is a combination of classroom lectures and range drills, with additional field exercises where time and facilities permit.

Some of the subjects covered are:

• Final Operational Briefing
• Communications
• The Approach
• Perimeter Security
• Entry Procedures
• Tactics for Room Combat
• Building Search Procedures
• Multiple Suspect Handling
• Preservation Of Evidence



From the most experienced narcotics agents to the newest recruits in a police academy, all will benefit from formal training in raids and high risk warrant service. Whether low key search warrants or high risk felony arrest warrants, the procedures and basic tactics remain the same, with agent safety being paramount.

Agencies lacking a formal raid program should seriously consider the value and cost effectiveness of an STTU program.

Some advantages are:

• Increased officer and agent safety
• Reduced agency liability exposure
• Professional instructors
• Modern training methods
• Effective training aids
• Reduced training time
• Reduced training costs
• Fully documented training