Like their military counterparts, police sniper teams contain a shooter and a spotter.
gas is a specialized function handled by two-man gas teams. Modern tactical units use gas wisely to divert a suspect's attention, deny him access to some parts of a structure, or temporarily disable him during an assault.
HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR: This could be a department psychiatrist or an officer trained especially in negotiation skills. During protracted situations, usually involving hostage takers, a negotiator contacts the suspects and attempts to use a host of techniques to help resolve the situation.
MEDICAL TEAMS: These could be police or fire paramedics, or medics from a local hospital. What's important is that they train regularly with your unit and understand how tac team operations are conducted. Their gear and orientation are directed primarily toward trauma injuries.
COMMUNICATIONS ELEMENT: This section really comes into the fore during a protracted incident, when an on-site command post suddenly needs phones, laptop computers, fax machines, secure radios, and photographic support, not to mention technical surveillance of suspects.
There can be other attachments to the tactical team. By attachments, we mean that these sections are not organic—not actually a part of the tactical team. They're attached to the team and under the team commander's control if needed on a particular operation.
BOMB SQUAD: In addition to helping assess, remove, and possibly disable an explosive device, in many departments the bomb squad is the only section that is authorized to prepare and detonate explosive entry charges. These officers should be the local booby trap experts who can instruct snipers in detecting and bypassing devices while stalking.
AIR SUPPORT: An airborne platform facilitates command and control, reconnaissance, relay of radio messages, photographic surveys, aerial searches—a host of useful contributions to tactical team operations. And add to this the ability of a helicopter to quickly airlift officers long distances or to great heights.
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