Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tactical Response Teams are centralizing

Today, I informed KCPD employees that our three Tactical Response Teams (you may know them as SWAT teams) will consolidate into one Tactical Response Division effective this Sunday, Jan. 22. Presently, Tactical Teams 1, 2 and 3 are stationed at the Central, Metro and East patrol divisions, respectively. Consolidating them gives them one command structure and will allow for increased efficiency for the deployment of tactical resources. All 45 officers on Tactical squads will now report to one major who has tactical experience. This major, Philip Lawler, was reassigned from another unit.

This centralization will allow us to focus our efforts in different parts of the city based on need and not just geography. And the South, Shoal Creek and North patrol divisions will now have more access to tactical resources than they ever did before. Tactical officers can be moved from area to area without having to get permission from other commanders.

The majority of Tactical officers we’ve heard from are in favor of this new structure. It gives them more freedom to go where they’re needed and cut through red tape. We’re still working out some logistics, such as where the Tactical Operations Division will operate from.

The Street Crimes Unit Tactical Team will not be part of the centralization. It will continue to work with others in the Narcotics and Vice Division to target drug-related crimes throughout the city.

Centralizing the Tactical Response Teams is just one way we’re doing more with less. I am cognizant of our current budget situation and that we must do the best we can with the tax dollars we’ve been given. I will continue to look at ways to increase efficiencies without adding additional staff. You’ll likely see more re-assigning of positions to elements where staffing is most needed.

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