The mission of the Cochise County Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Unit is to enhance the safety of citizens and officers by providing the Sheriff’s Office and any other requesting law enforcement agency with the capability to mitigate high-risk or armed resistance incidents through employment of special tactics by personnel with training and equipment not available to regular members of the Sheriffs Office.
History & Team Composition:
Law enforcement agencies have increasingly been confronted with acts of extraordinary violence. In dealing with incidents of such nature and the advent of terrorist acts carried out on U.S. soil, the preservation of human life and mitigation of high risk situations must be of primary consideration. The presence of a skilled, well trained and properly equipped law enforcement tactical unit substantially reduces the risk of injury or loss of life to citizens, law enforcement officers and suspects. Recognizing the dynamics of the law enforcement business, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office maintains a skilled, well trained and properly equipped SWAT unit, as a resource for the Sheriffs Office and other law enforcement agencies needing assistance with critical incidents.
Originally formed in 1981 as a Special Response Team, members were required to perform both Search and Rescue and Tactical duties. As the team evolved, it became apparent that a mission-specific tactical unit was needed to meet the demands of the increasingly complex and diverse missions performed by the team. In 1995 the tactical team was designated as the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team and eventually evolved into the SWAT unit comprised of Tactical Operations, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and Crisis Negotiations.
The SWAT unit is staffed with twenty eight personnel. All members are required to attain one of four unit qualifications; Tactical Operator, Tactical Medic, Crisis Negotiator and Explosive Ordnance. Select members specialize in two or more qualifications and perform those duties based on individual operational needs.
From its beginnings in 1981 to present day, current and former members of the SWAT unit have and continue to demonstrate unwavering resolve in the most dangerous and hostile situations faced by law enforcement.