The National Tactical Officers Association was established in 1983
by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Captain, then-Lieutenant,
John Kolman. Mr. Kolman hoped to provide a communications link between
SWAT units throughout the United States and, later, other countries.
Initially, membership in the Association was available exclusively
to past or present law enforcement or military personnel assigned
to SWAT/tactical teams and support personnel, i.e., hostage negotiators
and TEMS personnel. However, in 1996, the NTOA also opened membership
to all sworn active and retired law enforcement personnel and sworn
correctional officers. This marked a significant event in the history
of the NTOA because it enabled the Association to expand and prosper,
thus providing additional services to the membership.
All prospective members of the NTOA must meet prescribed membership
criteria. Membership records are considered confidential, and exact
figures are not disseminated. However, what can be stated
is the membership is presently comprised of more than 30,000 members,
including more than 1,600 teams. Largely through the hard work of
our instructors and a realistic costing approach, the NTOA training
program continues to grow. Member services are also expanding in
the areas of tactical data collection, equipment surveys, program
reviews and training program and instructor development.
Each year since its inception, the NTOA has conducted a well-attended
comprehensive five-day tactical operations training conference in
September. In addition, NTOA hosts a Crisis Negotiations conference
and a Breacher’s Symposium. Information about all three events
is available on this Web site. The Executive Director of NTOA, John
Gnagey, the entire staff and the Board of Directors encourage our
members to participate in these excellent training opportunities.