Tactical Response Team
While Tampa’s police officers are some of the best in the county and are highly
trained to handle just about any situation, there are times when they may need
more than their standard training and weapons. That is when an elite team
steps in known as the Tampa Police Department’s Tactical Response Team (TRT)
or more commonly known as S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons And Tactics) to the general
25-member team receives advanced training; they are the best of the best.
TRT responds to situations that require specialized weapons and tactics.
This can be anything from barricaded suspects, violent civil unrest, high risk
search/arrest warrants, high-profile dignitary visits, hostage situations and
suicidal subjects. Each member is highly trained in special weapons and
tactics and they are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Less than 2% of the
Department’s officers are selected for TRT. The rigorous tryout
process requires officers to go through enhanced testing to assess their
shooting skills and undergo additional psychological and vigorous
physical evaluations. Initially, new members attend a 40 hour
S.W.A.T. school where they learn the basics. Each year, all
members are required 270
training hours to maintain their spot on the
team. Since physical fitness is imperative, they are also required
to pass annual physical testing. The officers are trained on
several weapons: SIG Sauer P226, Colt or Bushmaster .223 semi-automatic
rifle with optics, and eight specially trained sniper members utilize a
Remington 700 .308 rifle with optics.
When dealing with a barricaded/armed suspect(s), the TRT and the
Hostage Negotiation Team work hand-in-hand in an initial attempt to
accomplish a peaceful surrender. However, if they
are unsuccessful, TRT will use physical means to prevent any further
risk to law enforcement and the community in taking this individual into
High Risk Search/Arrest Warrants
TRT assists Tampa Police officers and other law enforcement agencies
to execute high risk
search or arrest warrants authorized by a judge or a magistrate due to
high risk factors. These factors may include firearms on the
premises or to a suspect(s) having an extensive violent history.
Their assistance is paramount in keeping the community safe.
High-Profile Dignitary Visits
TRT provides perimeter security against snipers for visiting
dignitaries. They work in conjunction with the United States
Secret Service in protective roles, ensuring the safety of current and
former national leaders and their families, such as the President, past
Presidents, Vice Presidents, presidential candidates, and foreign
A suspect(s) may take hostages in his/her effort to perfect an escape
while still others take hostages for political reasons or because they
are mentally deranged or influenced by alcoholic beverages or drugs.
This places officers in a very volatile situation. TRT will
respond and take control of the situation.
Rescue 1 is a amphibious tank type vehicle that can reach speeds up
to 60 mph. The vehicle's body is designed to float and the knobs on the
tires propel it in the water. While it reaches a fast ground speed, in
the water, it travels about three knots. The diesel fuel tank holds 80
gallons and it carries up to 13 people. It is bullet proof and it has a
raised platform that has a rotatable 360 degree platform. Prior to
coming to the Tampa Police Department, it was used in Desert Storm by
United States Marine Corp.
Amphibious Rescue Vehicle –
The 12-ton Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) can drive through five feet
of water and withstand winds up to 130 mph helping police operate under
the most severe conditions. The carrier, nicknamed “high-top shoe”
for its tall silhouette look, can be used for search and rescue during a
natural disaster or a terrorist attack. The APC is bullet
resistant, can hold 13 passengers and it is virtually unstoppable. On
pavement, it can reach speeds of 60 mph. This one of a kind APC
was purchased from the military and it was paid for with a Federal