Leaders & Legends - Lee McMillion - Inside LAPD D-Platoon (SWAT)
Play • 1 hr 7 min

Episode Description – In this episode, we take a deep dive into LAPD D-Platoon (aka SWAT) with Lee McMillion, one of the two Lieutenants who currently lead the unit.  We discuss the history of SWAT, the current configuration of the team, the specialized cadres within the team, and what happens when the team is activated.  We also discuss how they select the right personnel, leading a team of high achievers, maintaining high standards, and trying to support personnel who are constantly engaged in dangerous and potentially traumatic events.  

Today’s Guest - Lt. Lee McMillion. Lee is currently one of the two Lieutenants leading the Los Angeles Police Departments Metropolitan Division D-Platoon - also known as LAPD SWAT. In total, Lee has spent 33 years as a Los Angeles Policeman of which 23 years have been spent at Metro, 21 with D-Platoon.  Lee is one of only three men to have ever served at all possible ranks at D-Platoon (Officer, Plus 1, Sgt, and Lt.).   Lee has been an element member, an element leader, a squad leader and is currently a Platoon Leader.  In his career, Lee has participated in well over a thousand tactical operations with a wide variety of mission sets.  

Topics Discussed

01:10 - Lee’s Career History 

03:20 – History of LAPD D-Platoon (SWAT)

06:30 – Black Panther and SLA Incidents

08:00 – Origins of the name “SWAT”

10:30 – 1984 LA Olympics and effect on D-Platoon 

14:15 – Current Configuration & Responsibilities of D-Platoon

16:30 – Capabilities of the team & the cadre system

19:59 – TEMS & Tactical Medics 

22:45 – Demographics of the Average D-Platoon Operators 

26:00 – Criteria and Process for Activating SWAT 

29:30 – Crisis Negotiation System – Every Operator is a Negotiator

32:00 – Misconceptions about SWAT – Statistics for SWAT

37:00 – “Militarization” of Law Enforcement

40:45 – Choosing the Right People – Personnel Selection

46:00 – Maintaining High Standards with Strong Personalities

49:00 – Building and Maintaining the Right Culture 

52:25 – Effects of Social Media on Different Personality Types

55:25 – The Tension Between Social Media and Professionalism

58:00 – Rapid Fire Questions 

1:02:00 - Most Profound Career Memory


Books Referenced

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle – ASIN B00AN2KTKQ

Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life by James Kerr - ISBN 9780804176989


Contact Info


LAPD SWAT Instagram - @lapd.swat


 Check out our website at thedebrief.live

More episodes
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu