HELENA POLICE DEPARTMENT SWAT TEAM
The SWAT team for the City of Helena is actually a consolidated team comprised of officers and deputies from the Helena Police Department and the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office. The HPD/LCSO SWAT team's function within the city, county, as well as around the state of Montana is to provide a safe but higher risk response to situations utilizing S.pecial W.eapons A.nd T.actics. This is accomplished through their training and equipment including a new emergency response vehicle (the BEAR), which the team received earlier this year mostly through a grant.
The SWAT team responds to incidents that require a dedicated response by persons trained and equipped to handle these high-risk situations such as hostage situations, weapons of mass destruction incidents, violent and/or armed stand-offs, active shooting situations or active life threatening incidents, high risk search or arrest warrant service, high risk drug/armed situations arrests, and many other high risk tactical incidents.
In order to accomplish this goal, the SWAT team trains regularly in areas including special weaponry, breaching methods, chemical agents methods, less-lethal munitions and weaponry, diversion device methods, navigation methods, negotiations tactics and officer rescue methods, special communications methods, as well as special events advanced life support tactics for medical treatment of persons and officers in the field during these incidents.
All of the SWAT team operators train in all these areas, however, the officers and deputies do specialize their involvement on the team into 1 of 4 areas. The 4 specialties on the team include the sniper/observer group, the assault group, the SEALS group (Special Events Advanced Life Support), and the negotiations group.