The Leon County Sheriff's Office SWAT Team (Special Weapons and Tactics) was formed in May of 1982 and consisted of six members. Presently the SWAT Team is composed of 25 operators including 6 Snipers. The SWAT Team works and trains with the Hazardous Devices Team, the Hostage Negotiations Team, and the Aviation Unit.
Each member is selected from different areas within the department and has a primary job in that area. These assignments include Patrol Deputy, Criminal Investigations Detective, School Resource Deputy or any number of other assignments. These assignments of each of the team members are their everyday job and they work as a SWAT Team member on an as needed basis. Being a member of the SWAT Team is a secondary duty these dedicated individuals accept and request.
From its inception, the Leon County Sheriff's Office has made a strong commitment to having the best SWAT Team possible. The team's mission first and foremost is to protect and to serve the public that they are sworn to defend.
Post 9-11 the State of Florida divided the state into seven regions. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team was designated as the Region 2 primary response team. Region 2 is comprised of fourteen counties including approximately 200 miles of Gulf of Mexico coastline. Based on that designation the SWAT Team saw an infusion of Federal and other funding allowing the Team to upgrade much of the older equipment. The Team is now as well equipped as any team in the country. The Team trains in counter-terrorism tactics, linear assault, vehicle assault, dealing with barricaded suspects, hostage rescue and other less commonly used tactics including the use of Level B WMD suits to combat the use of weapons of mass destruction.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team is also designated as the Region 2 secondary Waterborne Response Team. Therefore, the team has the qualifications of a Type I Team with Advanced Waterborne Response Capability. Ten SWAT members have been cross trained as Maritime Tactical Operators along with two trained Tactical Vessel Operators.
The Team is equipped with tactical robots, a SAV III Patrol/Assault Vessel, the Lenco Bearcat, night vision, a MARS Elevated Tactical Platform, suppressed M-4 rifles and an assortment of Sniper rifles. Sniper rifles include .308 and .408 Chey-Tac. Members are equipped with the latest Taser models and a full assortment of chemical munitions.