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Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT)

The Louisiana State Police (LSP) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team is composed of three 21-member platoons and three 7-member Crisis Negotiator Squads. SWAT is responsible for responding to incidents which are beyond the capabilities of traditional law enforcement, using specialized equipment, weapons and tactics. Such incidents include, but are not limited to serving arrest and search warrants on known violent offenders, providing security at high-profile public events and resolving hostage and barricaded gunman situations.

Hurricane Katrina became SWAT's most significantdeployment in recent years. Team members arrived in Downtown New Orleans the day after the storm to establish the first organized law enforcement patrols in the city. The team continued patrol and emergency response operations 24/7 for eight weeks before returning to regular patrol duties. The team used its V-150 armored vehicle as well as a National Guard Light Armored Vehicle to patrol the flooded streets. Calls for assistance required teams to be inserted onto high-rise buildings via National Guard Blackhawk helicopters when high waters prevented access by other means.

In 2006, LSP SWAT served many high-risk arrest and search warrants throughout the state. The team, with the assistance of its Crisis Negotiations Team successfully resolved a hostage situation and a barricaded gunman situation. The team also conducted security operations at several high-profile events such as the opening of the Special Session of the Louisiana State Legislature and the Southern Governors' Association Conference in New Orleans. The Crisis Negotiations Team also resolved several hostage and barricaded suspect situations that other agencies were unable to resolve. To date, SWAT's Crisis Negotiations Team has successfully resolved all hostage and barricaded suspect situations that it has been called to with no loss of life or serious injuries.

LSP SWAT continues to advance its capabilities through its relationship with the LSP Air Support Section. The Section provides helicopters and pilots to augment SWAT's team delivery capabilities. Using three helicopters, Air Support can deliver as many as fourteen SWAT operators to virtually any target, anywhere in the state or offshore.

The LSP SWAT team continues to train in an effort to meet evolving challenges and threats. Partnerships with the LSP Emergency Services Section have provided valuable resources in the form of mechanical robots allowing for enhance safety of SWAT personnel during critical incidents. The robots contribute by gathering intelligence through audio and video capabilities, the delivery of items or equipment and aid in breaching (forcing open doors or windows for team entry). The LSP Tactical Hazardous Materials program also enables SWAT the ability to enter contaminated areas for security or assault purposes.

LSP SWAT remains on the forefront in the tactical community by providing quality leadership, employing enhanced technology, and establishing new resources; all while adhering to national standards of care.