(Capcom's primary storyline)
The Raccoon S.W.A.T., otherwise described as the "RPD select police force" (RPD選抜警官隊 RPD senbatsu keikan-tai ) was a specialized police unit in the Raccoon Police Department, formed as part of a program to establish a new special forces team after the dissolution of the Special Tactics and Rescue Service.[note 1]
Although not trained or equipped to carry out its predecessor's search-and-rescue responsibilities, the unit was more than capable of undertaking the functions and responsibilities of riot police and tactical law enforcement.[excerpt 1]
The select police force was activated some time in mid-1998 in response to the loss of most of the S.T.A.R.S. team during the Mansion Incident, and the unit's subsequent deactivation by Chief Brian Irons.
On September 24, Chief Irons began sabotaging the city's defense plan and hindering the RPD's operations against the growing number of zombies and other B.O.W.s. This included ordering weapons and ammo be separated into caches in different areas, causing officers to be cut off from supplies when zombies inevitably cut off access to various caches, as well as delaying police responses until they were too late to be effective.
On September 26, after suffering devastating losses and ammunition shortages, the RPD's attempts to contain the t-Virus quickly eroded into complete chaos. The bulk of the remaining S.W.A.T. unit was dispatched, alongside regular departmental officers, to defend a presumably vital barricade placement near the Johnson National Bank under threat of being overrun by the encroaching zombie hordes. Elsewhere, at the Central Station, another S.W.A.T. unit set up barricades around a tram. Both missions ultimately ended in disaster, with the entire defense teams, including all S.W.A.T. personnel involved, being completely wiped out.
In stark contrast to the openly unique customization and options for weaponry, uniforms and equipment afforded to the S.T.A.R.S unit, RPD S.W.A.T operated in a far more standardized manner. In regards to equipment and uniforms, the team were issued what would be considered standard issue in most tactical police units across the United States in 1998. Officers wear tactical vests, ballistic helmets, navy blue uniforms and carry standard issue tactical weaponry such as the Heckler & Koch MP5 sub-machine gun and the Remington M870 shotgun. This load-out, however, is clearly a more-lethal combination of equipment than used by regular RPD officers and the unit would certainly be placed on the forefront of particularly dangerous situations involving criminal or terrorist threats. During the Raccoon City Destruction Incident, given their elite status, it is likely that the S.W.A.T. unit spearheaded the primary t-Virus related combat operations during the earliest point of the outbreak, whilst the RPD regulars focused on perimeter lock-downs and evacuation efforts.
- RESEARCH ON BIOHAZARD 2 final edition compares this SWAT team with Japan's "Special Assault Team", a counter-terrorism unit of Japan's National Police Agency whose existence had only recently been revealed when Resident Evil 2 was being developed.
- BIOHAZARD 3 LAST ESCAPE OFFICIAL GUIDEBOOK COMPLETE CONQUEST OF NEMESIS. Famitsu. 1999.
- BIOHAZARD ARCHIVES. Famitsu.
- The BIOHAZARD ARCHIVES repeatedly refers to the unit as the RPD Senbatsu Keikantai (RPD選抜警官隊) or literally "Select Police Force" which it describes as "a special forces which aimed to become Raccoon City's SWAT unit" (ラクーンシティのSWATをめざした特殊班である).
- Excerpt from CONQUEST OF NEMESIS, p.345:
"We began from the concept that there was possibly a select police force within the Raccoon Police Department besides S.T.A.R.S. that served the same function as a riot police. They are selected officers who were forged through a specialized training with the intention to form the Raccoon SWAT division following the collapse of S.T.A.R.S." (特殊部隊S.T.A.R.S.とは別に、ラクーン市警には機動隊と同様の選抜警官隊が存在するという設定から書き起こしてもらいました。 S.T.A.R.S.崩壊後は特殊訓練が強化され、選抜隊員でラクーンSWAT結成を目指しています。)
- CONQUEST OF NEMESIS, p.345
- BIOHAZARD ARCHIVES, pp.267, 302-303