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Special Operations Division

2850 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC

The mission of the Special Operations Division is to support our Coutry, patrol operations by developing special tactics and deploying specially trained personnel in unusual law enforcement situations and events; assisting the District Commanders with selective traffic enforcement, traffic control, accident investigation and public vehicle regulation enforcement; and coordinating with other agencies and organizational elements concerning special events and potential catastrophic situations.

The specific functions of Special Operations are listed as follows. Prioritization is extremely difficult due to the nature of the division. All branches handle extremely critical and life-saving functions.

The Special Tactics Branch

  • Maintains liaison between Federal and Municipal governments in civil defense matters. Provides on-duty manpower for rapid deployment of crowd management situations, disasters, and unusual occurrences. Examines, deactivates, and disposes of incendiary or explosive materials.

  • Instructs the Civil Disturbance Unit on bomb identification and the handling of bomb threats. Provides training assistance to other organizational elements and outside agencies on bomb identification. Maintains liaison with the National Bomb Data Center and provides for an orderly and secure exchange of information. Establishes and maintains complete files on bombings, found objects, bomb threats, and barricade situations.

  • Responds to all barricade, hostage, criminal and political terrorist situations and provides trained personnel to resolve such incidents. Provides trained negotiators in suicide attempts. Supplies information on hostage barricade rescue operations to local and Federal law enforcement agencies.

  • Provides training sessions to local and Federal law enforcement agencies when requested. Provides supplemental assistance to the Special Events Branch for security details. Conducts security surveys of high-risk targets to prevent terrorist attacks on buildings and personnel.

  • Supports the US Secret Service as requested in the protection of foreign missions and embassies.

  • Provides trained personnel on request for service of warrants in high-risk situations for violence.

  • Develops and presents on a continuing basis, training for physical fitness, hostage rescue, hostage negotiation, special weapons and tactics, and apprehension techniques.

The Training Unit

  • Maintains Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU) Storeroom with the necessary equipment to insure a complete mobilization in the event of an emergency. Develops and administers a 40 hour CDU recruit school for new CDU members. Provides quarterly re-training for all active CDU members.

  • Maintains inventory on all the department's specialized weapons to include shotgun, sub-machine gun, chemical munitions, and diversionary devices.

  • Provides the Emergency Response Teams with all specialized weapons training.

  • Provides annual firearm familiarization training for the Police Reserve Corps. Provides specialized and firearms training for the Executive Protection Detail (Mayor's detail).

  • Provides Folding Stock Shotgun training to all specialized units within the department.

  • Assists the Uniform & Equipment Board with important issues concerning the department's ammunition resources to include:

  • Street and training ammunition needs,

  • Technical specifications of ammunition,

  • Safety considerations as it applies to ammunition,

  • Innovative trends and technological advances in ammunition, and preparation of requisitions for all major ammunition, purchases, which shall be based on such considerations as cost and best interests of the department.

The Special Events Branch

  • Plans, coordinates and develops operational orders; allocates manpower; conducts liaison with outside agencies for special events, parades, demonstrations and other incidents occurring in public or of a public nature.

  • Coordinates with appropriate agencies in planning, developing, and executing escort and security support for distinguished guests of the Federal and municipal governments and other governmental functions.

  • Screens requests for permits and personnel in connection with public and private functions and makes recommendations to the Chief of Police.

  • Coordinates with Secret Service in planning, developing, and executing escort and security for the President and Vice President of the United States and other protectees.

  • Administers and coordinates the Ceremonial Honor Guard functions and maintains the proficiency of the unit.

  • Provides supplemental assistance to the Traffic Enforcement Branch in the Enforcement of traffic regulations.

  • Provides necessary patrol functions when regular District units are unable to respond.

  • For more information about planning or holding a demonstration, a parade, or an event that requires closing a street, see Special Event.

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