Under the direction of Lieutenant Steve Baxter, the Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Team’s primary responsibility is to save lives. To that end, SWAT will respond to barricaded persons, hostage incidents, emotionally disturbed persons who pose a threat to the community, and sniper incidents. In addition, the SWAT Team functions as a mobile, flexible force for special police problems that require a highly trained specially equipped and disciplined unit. Special problems that may require a SWAT Team response include civil disturbances, surveillance, security details, fugitive apprehension, high-risk search warrants and special assignments from the Chief of Police. SWAT members are officers drawn primarily from the Patrol Division, extensively trained and functioning part-time, as needed, in their SWAT role.
The SWAT team is comprised of an entry team, snipers team, gas team, medics and a surgeon. Within the entry team, SWAT operators have a wide range of munitions and less lethal options to facilitate a safe and quick resolution.
SWAT operators are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Senior SWAT operators have the responsibility of being first responders to critical incident call outs. They have a take home car and keep their gear with them at all times. This allows the senior operator to arrive at the scene of an incident quicker and begin coordinating efforts between the on-scene patrol supervisor and arriving SWAT officers.