West Dakota SWAT Team
The West Dakota Swat Team is a tactical police team trained and equipped to safely resolve those high risk situations that are beyond the scope of those which can be safely handled by the standard police response. These situations include barricaded subjects, hostage situations, VIP protection, and the execution of high risk search warrants. The priority for the Team in all situations is to successfully accomplish its mission and resolve the incident with no injury to citizens or our officers.
The Team is comprised of members of the Bismarck Police Department, Mandan Police Department, Burleigh County Sheriff's Department and Morton County Sheriff's Department who all have other primary assignments with their departments and serve on the Team on an "on-call" basis. Officers volunteer for service on the Team and must pass a selection process prior to assignment if openings occur. Team members are then required to maintain an above average level of firearms proficiency and physical fitness, as well as demonstrate safe tactical skills to remain on the Team.
The Team attends local training on a monthly basis and makes attempts to train off-site once a year by participating in additional advanced training classes throughout the country. The training is focused on improving firearms skills, building entry skills, and other specialized tactical skills related to special requirements placed upon Team members.
Weapons & Equipment
The Team has a variety of specialized weapons and equipment. This includes special protective equipment to minimize risk of injury to individual officers. The Team is continually acquiring additional equipment to allow the Team to perform its functions at minimal risk to the public and its officers. Some of the specialized equipment includes a mobile command post, an armored personnel vehicle, and advanced surveillance and weapon systems.
Pride In What They Do
The Team members take great pride in their level of preparation and readiness as well as the fact that they are called upon by other departments to assist in the establishment or training of their tactical units. They are looking forward to challenges that may be presented to them in the future.
The Bismarck Police Department maintains a specially trained team of officers who respond on a call-out basis to incidents involving hostage situations, barricaded persons, and/or suicidal subjects. There are currently six officers assigned to the Negotiation Team. These officers have all attended specialized training courses, instructed by the F.B.I., on negotiation techniques in hostage and crisis situations. They also attend periodic training sessions and seminars on negotiation topics.
Barricaded persons who resist by using, or threatening the use of firearms, explosives, or other weapons pose a serious threat to innocent persons in the vicinity of the incident. Such persons may seize hostages, which compounds the seriousness of the situation. In these situations, the safety of officers, hostages, and innocent persons is the primary objective of the department.
In hostage or crisis situations, the Negotiations Team works under the direction of the Incident Commander and the Special Incidents Unit, to initiate or assume communication with the suspect(s). The ultimate goal is to gain a successful resolution to the incident through the peaceful surrender of the suspect(s).