Every law enforcement agency at one time or another will be faced with an emergency or critical incident with greater risk and a higher potential for the loss of life. Such incidents may involve confrontations with armed, barricaded suspects, the rescue of hostages or injured people, snipers, riots, crowd control and dignitary protection. The methods, techniques and equipment used to resolve these situations may determine the outcome of a life or death situation.

These situations can expose law enforcement personnel to an abnormal amount of risk and personal danger. To minimize the risk and deal most effectively with these situations requires planning, special weapons, tactics and highly trained personnel. The result is the formation of a group of carefully selected officers trained with Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT).

Recognizing that the presence of a highly trained, highly skilled tactical unit has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of injury or loss of life to citizens, police officers and suspects; and recognizing that a well managed "team" response to critical incidents usually results in successful resolution of critical incidents.

It is the mission of Lake County Sheriff's Office personnel assigned to SWAT to provide a immediate, systematic response of trained law enforcement personnel and equipment to tactical situations, emergencies, critical incidents or natural disasters that exceed the capabilities of a requesting agency. Critical incidents are defined as follows:
  • Hostage Situations: the holding of any person(s) against their will by an armed or potentially armed suspect.
  • Barricade Situation: the stand-off created by an armed or potentially armed suspect in any location, whether fortified or not, who is refusing to comply with law enforcement demands for surrender.
  • Sniper Situations: the firing upon citizens and/or law enforcement officers by an armed suspect, whether stationary or mobile.
  • High-Risk Apprehension: the arrest or apprehension of armed or potentially armed suspects where the likelihood of armed resistance is high.
  • High-Risk Warrant Service: the service of search or arrest warrants where the warrant service matrix or policy recommends or requires the use of SWAT.
  • Personal Protection: the security of special persons, such as VIP's, witnesses, or suspects, based on threat or potential threat to the well being of those persons.
  • Special Assignments: any assignment, approved by the SWAT Operations Commander, based on a high level of threat and/or need.

  • All operations will be conducted with the highest regard for the preservation of life.
  • The SWAT Team is committed to the safe resolution of all high risk situations and will approach each situation in a professional and controlled manner, with an emphasis on a negotiated resolution.
  • The SWAT Team will use the best available specialized training and equipment to accomplish its mission and will develop the specialized skills of each team member.
  • The SWAT Team is committed to a controlled, rapid response to high risk situations in order to gain control and minimize the risk of death or injury to any person.
  • SWAT Team members approach their duties with a high level of confidence, motivation, flexibility, and patience.
  • SWAT Team members acknowledge their dependence upon one another and work as a team in an atmosphere of trust, confidence, and open communication.


Ralph McDuffie: ralph.mcduffie@lcso.org
Greg Holtzclaw: greg.holtzclaw@lcso.org