This is a very good article that illustrates why SWAT raids are such a poor general-purpose, law enforcement tactic.
A Denver Post investigation found that in 80 percent of no-knock raids conducted in Denver in 1999, police assertions that there would be weapons in the targeted home turned out to be wrong. A separate investigation by the Rocky Mountain News found that of the 146 no-knock warrants served in Denver in 1999, just 49 resulted in criminal charges, and only two resulted in prison time.
A 30% arrest rate is very poor performance for such a dangerous, high-risk, tactic. I have to wonder about the financial costs associated with the other 70% of the raids: wasted hours in training, planning and execution, lawsuits and settlements, medical costs for injuries, etc. Those costs could get pretty high for operations that don’t even produce arrests, let alone convictions.
Particularly telling is the mindset expressed here:
Lima police apparently aren’t as concerned. When told of the Lima News investigation, police spokesman Kevin Martin said, “That means 68 percent of the time, we’re getting guns or drugs off the street. We’re not looking at it as a win-loss record like a football team does.”
Clearly this police spokesman doesn’t pay attention to the metrics, and doesn’t understand the tactics employed. One of the major arguments for using Dynamic Entries against drug dealers is to prevent them from destroying evidence. If SWAT raids are turning up drugs but not convictions then ultimately the destruction of evidence (which also gets drugs off the streets) is the best outcome they normally achieve. If arrests and convictions are not the ultimate goal then giving the criminals ample opportunity to flush or destroy the drugs would be just as effective and far less dangerous for all involved.