The Leon County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) 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 Bomb Squad, the Hostage Negotiations Team, and the Aviation Unit.
Each member of the SWAT Team has requested the assignment and has passed a rigorous selection process. These members also understand being a member of the SWAT Team is a secondary duty assignment and they must continue to maintain their work load and proficiency in their primary job assignment. Members serve in an on-call status, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for Leon County and the region.
From its inception, the Leon County Sheriff's Office has made a strong commitment to having a World Class SWAT Team. The team's mission first and foremost is to protect and serve the public they are sworn to defend.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks the State of Florida was divided into seven regions. Leon County is located in Region 2 along with twelve other counties. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team was designated as the primary tactical response team for the Region. Region 2 is comprised of urban and rural areas along with approximately 200 miles of Gulf of Mexico coastline. The Team trains in counter-terrorism tactics, linear assault, vehicle assault, barricaded suspects, hostage rescue and other less commonly used tactics including the use of Level B Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) suits to combat the use of chemical and biological weapons.
The Leon County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team is also designated as the Region 2 secondary Waterborne Response Team (WRT). Therefore, the team has the qualifications of a Type I Team with Advanced Waterborne Response Capability. Ten SWAT members have been cross trained to work with the Florida Wildlife Commission as Maritime Tactical Operators.
The Team is equipped with tactical robots, a Lenco Bearcat, night vision, a MARS Elevated Tactical Platform, an assortment of firearms and the latest less than lethal technology.