Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT)
CNT is made up of specially trained department members and is primarily comprised of SPD dispatch personnel and police officers, though the team is open to all department members meeting the minimum qualifications and who successfully complete the selection process. By incorporating a variety of personnel, CNT is able to ensure members of the team are available 24 hours a day 365 day a year. Team members are also subject to call outs should a situation require.
All CNT members attend a formal negotiator school and continual trainings to keep their skills sharp and to stay current on best practices. CNT also maintains relationships and regularly trains with partner agencies from across the state.
CNT personnel regularly utilize their training while conducting their primary work functions within the Department and when called upon to assist SWAT during high-risk search and arrest warrants, barricaded subjects, armed suicidal subjects, and hostage situations.
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)
The SPD Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) is primarily tasked with responding to high-risk situations beyond the capabilities of patrol or detective personnel. These situations include barricaded suspects, hostage events, active shooters, area searches for armed suspects, serving high risk arrest and search warrants, acts of terrorism, and dignitary or event security. SPD SWAT also assists in search and rescue operations when requested. Officers assigned to SWAT also serve as part of the Department’s crowd control response providing additional resources and capability to both small and large-scale events.
SWAT is able to leverage additional resources, such as equipment and personnel, and works collaboratively with CNT to de-escalate and safely resolve critical incidents. National studies routinely show tactical teams are much less likely to be involved in a lethal force encounter compared to a patrol only response. Additional studies show that tactical teams are 8 times more likely to utilize less lethal options to resolve a situation.
Like CNT, SWAT is a collateral duty assignment pulling sworn officers from both the Operations and Support Division of SPD. The team utilizes a nationally recognized command structure with a division commander serving as the commander of both SWAT and CNT.
All SWAT team members attend a 40-hour basic SWAT school and continue to train twice per month. Officers with additional specialized assignments receive additional training in those areas. Like CNT, SWAT maintains relationships with area tactical teams through joint trainings and operational support.
In addition to responding to critical incidents, SWAT and CNT personnel provide training to other department members on tactics and skills that can be utilized on a daily basis to de-escalate and resolve dangerous situations without citizen or officer injury.