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Tactical Response Team

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 public.  This 25-member team receives advanced training; they are the best of the best.

Smoke Exercise TRT Emblem Laser Exercise
Photo Gallery FAQ
Weapons and Equipment Training


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.

TRT Tryouts ~ Shooting TRT Tryouts ~ Rappelling

Barricaded/Armed Suspect(s)

TRT Setting off an Explosive Device for Entry

Armed SuspectWhen 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 custody.

High Risk Search/Arrest Warrants

TRT With Battering Ram

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

Patrol Unit With Air Force One

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 embassies.

Hostage Situations 

An Armed Suspect Taking A Hostage


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

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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. 

Rescue 2

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Amphibious Rescue Vehicle – "Rescue 2"

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 security grant.