CATO’s goal is to increase the professionalism and proficiency of special weapons teams and members across the state. To provide a forum for the exchange of current and relevant issues and information; maintain a secure online website; provide and/or sponsor superior training and conference programs; maintain a liaison with tactical teams across the nation; stimulate the research and development of innovative techniques, methods of operation and equipment; provide training assistance and support; and become the largest non-profit organization in the state dedicated exclusively to personnel in all levels of tactical operations.
In the mid-1960s, the concept of special weapons and tactics teams was first conceived and implemented by the Los Angeles Police Department. Since that time, law enforcement agencies across the country have realized the need for specially trained and equipped police personnel to resolve an ever-increasing number of dangerous situations. No matter which acronym is used (SWAT, SRT, ERT, etc.) these teams of highly trained professionals are tasked with resolving some of the most hazardous of all law enforcement incidents.
The California Association of Tactical Officers CATO) believes there is no acceptable casualty rate for law enforcement personnel. In particular, CATO has focused its efforts upon improving the safety, education, and sharing of vital tactical information among its members.