Special Problems Detail


West Covina Police Department

Special Problems Detail

The Special Problems Detail (SPD) of the West Covina Police Department consists of several specialized units that combine their tactics, skills, and efforts to deal with major incidents that occur within the City of West Covina or when called upon by surrounding communities. SPD consists of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT), and Robotics Unit.

Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT) Team


SWAT was formed in 1968 to meet the challenges faced by law enforcement at the time. WCPD SWAT has built upon its foundation of excellence and trains on a continuous basis to maintain the quality of service expected from such a unit. SWAT is charged with handling high-risk operations such as armed and barricaded subjects and/or hostage incidents. The primary purpose of SWAT is to save lives. Officers selected to SWAT must meet minimum standards in experience, physical fitness, decision making, firearms, and other tactical skills. SWAT consists of two entry teams and a sniper team. SWAT members are trained in multiple weapons systems as well as special tools to assist them in performing their duties and ensuring safe ends to critical incidents. The WCPD SWAT team has been called upon in numerous situations to bring a peaceful end to emergency situations.

 Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT)


The primary purpose of the Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT) is to save lives. This includes the lives of both law enforcement personnel and members of the community, whose security may be threatened by hazardous situations.  This is accomplished through the deployment of selected personnel who are highly trained in hostage and crisis negotiation tactics and equipped with the appropriate resources.  The Hostage Negotiation Team provides the department with personnel who have been specifically trained and equipped to diffuse critical incidents utilizing the negotiation process.  While negotiators attempt to accomplish their task by verbal persuasion, they recognize the unpredictability of people in crisis.  They therefore continually provide the tactical elements with intelligence should a tactical solution be required.

The use of negotiations during times when suspects are suicidal, barricaded, or have taken hostages is recognized as the most desirable and successful method of resolving the incident.  In most cases, prolonged dialogue between the suspect and a trained negotiator will increase the chances for a peaceful resolution.  In order to deal more effectively with these types of situations and to reduce the threat of violent confrontations, a group of carefully selected and highly trained officers has been formed to provide the West Covina Police Department with a negotiation capability.

West Covina Police Department

Robotics Team

The Robotics Team falls under the direction of the Special Problem Detail. The primary role of the robotics team is to augment the Special Weapons and Tactics Team. The robots are used to assist the team members in a variety of tasks. Some of these tasks include the following: Searching the interior/exterior of locations, delivering equipment, provide announcements, and providing the ability to see from a safe location.

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