Tactical & Tactical Support Units
special weapons and tactics
The Port of Seattle Police department is one of the six member agencies that compose the regional Valley SWAT team. Valley SWAT Team is composed of members from the cities of Auburn, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Tukwila and the Port of Seattle. The regional team was formed to counter the increasing occurrences of violent encounters within our region and the team’s mission is to provide resolution to high risk situations beyond the safe ability of police patrol assets. The Team’s normal missions include high risk warrant service, dignitary protection, armed barricade suspect resolution and hostage rescue.
Valley SWAT is the largest tactical team within the State of Washington with 36 operators and 6 commanders. The team’s large number of highly trained and well equipped officers allows them to respond safely and effectively to many potentially volatile situations.
The Port of Seattle Police SWAT Team and Valley SWAT are very active in the Washington State Tactical Officer’s Association and the National Tactical Officers Association. Specifically, WSTOA’s vice president and the Director of Operations are Port of Seattle SWAT team members and members sit on the NTOA’s National Standards Review committee (ntoa.org
) and National Technology Working Group (www.wstoa.org
Crisis Negotiations Unit (CNU)
The members of this specialized unit are trained to analyze conflict situations and determine the best route to resolve incidents safely. Trained to defuse highly stressed individuals, they negotiate and resolve volatile situations such as hostage taking, hijacking and potential suicides.
Valley Crisis Communication Unit
The CNU officers are also members of a joint Valley Crisis Communication Unit. Comprised of negotiators from Auburn, Renton, Tukwila, Kent and Federal Way Police Departments, this unit is available to assist any member department when multiple negotiators are needed. The merging of teams also provides for great training, more equipment, and allows for a variety of perspectives when critiquing recent incidents.
The unit's four members - one sergeant and three officers - are required to successfully complete a 40-hour basic hostage negotiation class before they can actively participate in any hostage, barricade, suicidal or other crisis situation.
The most common tool utilized is hostage negotiation is the "throw" phone, which keeps communication between the suspect and negotiator only. The alternative is a "Hailer," a loud speaker used when a suspect is in an open or difficult to reach area.