TSU (Tactical Support Unit)
The Tactical Support Unit (TSU) consists of multiple specially trained Units. These Units include SWAT, (Special Weapons and Tactics), TDU, (Tactical Dispatch Unit), CNU, (Crisis Negotiations Unit), REU, (Regional Explosives Unit), TEM, (Tactical Emergency Medics), BEAR drivers, and Mobile Command Operators. All these Units combined are deployed to handle high risk situations which aren’t commonly encountered by patrol personnel.
TSU's primary objective is to ensure the safety of all persons involved in any mission in which the TSU is deployed. Concern for the public’s safety, as well as the team's safety, cannot be stressed enough as the TSU executes its missions.
Examples of missions which would commonly involve TSU include, but are not limited to:
- High Risk Warrant Service and/or High Risk Arrest Warrant Service
- Fugitive Apprehension
- Hostage Situations
- Barricaded Subjects
- Dignitary Protection
- High Profile Events (Example: AFA Graduations)
- Any situation with an increased risk to public safety
The SWAT element team member selection process involves multiple components. Prior to participating in a competitive oral board examination, each potential team member must demonstrate excellent weapons handling skills and pass a rigorous physical assessment.
TSU members of all elements undergo extensive training throughout the year. This includes joint training with other agencies in the region. TSU members conduct weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual training which meets the requirements of national standards and best practices. Members are expected to maintain their skills, weapons proficiency and physical conditioning throughout their assignment to the Unit.
The TSU hosts a Basic Tactical School annually and invites potential team members from the Sheriff’s Office, as well as members from surrounding agencies to include military bases. During the training, attendees are given the basic skills of a tactical operator which will serve as the foundation for their work with their respective teams and generally enhance their abilities as a law enforcement officer.
TSU members assist the community in a variety of ways to include training new deputies, instructing annual in-service training, attending community events, working with regional partners, and assisting Patrol and Detentions with high risk situations.
The typical TSU operation will include all members of the SWAT element, a tactical dispatcher, a BEAR armored vehicle driver, multiple negotiators, multiple tactical medics, and an explosives unit member equipped with robots and explosive breaching capabilities. High Risk situations in El Paso County are successfully managed due to the collaborative efforts of all members of TSU.