SWAT Team

Purpose
The SWAT team was created by the Wheat Ridge Police Department in 1985 to provide special weapons and tactics for resolving such unusual occurrences as:
  • Barricaded suspects
  • Hostage situations
  • High-risk warrant services
  • VIP security
  • Any other situation in which the special skills and ready availability of a well trained team is needed to assist the department in carrying out its mission
In 2012 Wheat Ridge and Lakewood SWAT teams combined to make the West Metro SWAT team. The consolidation of these two teams has enhanced services during unusual occurrences and benefits citizens in both communities when special tactics and weapons are required.

Other benefits of having a combined team include:
  • More efficient utilization of police services, personnel and equipment resources.
  • More timely and effective response to calls for specialized police assistance.
  • Adequate staffing levels comprised of highly training police officers to resolve crisis and high-risk situations.
There are three levels of S.W.A.T. Team response depending on the circumstance and number of officers needed. 
  • A “S.W.A.T. Patrol Team” consists of S.W.A.T. personnel who are working patrol at the time of the incident;
  • A “Situational Team” response is requested when the patrol team staffing is not sufficient to safely resolve the situation, and
  • A full S.W.A.T. Team activation is appropriate for situations where the full array of tactical resources are likely to be required.
The members and resources of the new West Metro S.W.A.T. Team are capable and ready to safeguard lives and uphold the law in the cities of Lakewood and Wheat Ridge.

The West Metro SWAT Team works in partnership with other SWAT teams in the county and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Tactical Team Association and the National Tactical Officers Association.

SWAT Team Members
The SWAT team consists of officers and supervisors who have received specialized training in weapons, less lethal munitions, tactical response and negotiations.

Teams
There are three units that comprise the SWAT team:
  • SWAT Operators are sworn officers cross trained in key aspects of tactical work such as entry techniques, perimeter duties, and specialized munitions.
  • SWAT Negotiators are specially trained personnel that are selected from the ranks of both officers and civilian dispatchers.
  • Tactical Medics are EMTs and paramedics trained to provide medical support during tactical situations.