The Special Weapons and Tactics Team provides a group of highly trained and skilled officers that are utilized in instances where disciplined teamwork and specialized weapons and tactical skills are required to deal with and resolve law enforcement incidents that are high risk in nature, such as: the taking of hostages; armed barricaded suspect(s); sniper situation(s), an "active shooter" wherein shots have been fired by a suspect(s) and the safety of citizens or deputies may be at risk or other incidents that are high risk in nature and are beyond the capability of normal patrol and/or jail operations. It has been shown over the years that the presence of a highly trained, highly skilled tactical unit can substantially reduce the risk of injury or loss of life to citizens, officers, and suspects; and the well managed “team” response to critical incident greatly increases the chances for a successful resolution.
Additionally, the SWAT Team, or portions thereof can be requested for use in other situations, by the various department entities, such as: Patrol, Detectives, Narcotics, and the Gang Units. The SWAT Team is capable of providing the full team or one component of the team depending on the circumstances and requirements of the mission. This flexibility allows the Department to best utilize tactically trained personnel and state of the art equipment to enhance the safety in resolving tactical situations that are above-average in risk that do not rise to the level of a traditional SWAT response, such as: planning and/or service of arrest or search warrants, providing patrol supervisors with specialized equipment and tactically trained personnel to deploy the equipment in a reasonable time; providing a response to situations necessitating the use of specialized less lethal munitions and/or diversionary devices and providing counter-sniper capabilities during high risk operations. The Department’s SWAT Team is also available to other law enforcement agencies through mutual aid requests. Additionally, the team conducts a state certified SWAT School instructing officers locally and through out the state.