SWAT costs increase in 2013

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- KEPR is always tracking your taxpayer dollars. After last week's SWAT incident in Richland, we learned how much the team is costing you.

Two years ago, the team responded to 27 incidents. Last year, SWAT was activated two additional times. While that may not seem like a big difference, the overall number demonstrates how it can add up.

The team costs taxpayers over $300,000 each year. Each incident is estimated to cost you $12,000. However, officials say the cost to not have a team is even greater.

"The toll that we often see when a tactical team is not used is actually lives lost, and so using a SWAT team is much safer, and has a great deal of benefit to the community," said Richland Police Captain Mike Cobb.

Community donations help offset the expenses. For example, HAPO recently donated $5,000 to rebuild an armored vehicle.