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Knoxville Police Department

Special Operations Squad

(SWAT)

Doug Stiles
Lieutenant
Knoxville Police Department
800 Howard Baker Jr. Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37915
Office: (865) 215 - 7207
FAX: (865) 215 - 7412
http://www.knoxvillepd.org
dstiles@cityofknoxville.org

HISTORY:

The Knoxville Police Department's Speical Operations Squad has been in existance since 1976. It was originally conceived and developed by Sgt. Gary Shaffer, who was selected as Squad Commander. He remained in that position for ten years. Lt. James "Dog" Kennedy became the new commander in 1986, retiring in 2001 with fifteen years as Commander. Captain Don Green assumed the role of Commander, with Captain Gus Paidousis serving as Executive Officer. In late January, due to Departmental commitments, they also stepped down from a leadership role, and Lieutenant Don Jones became the new Commander. Sergeant Monty Boone, a member since 1989 and executive officer, retired in April. Lt. Don Jones served as Commander from January 2002 until September 2004.

FUNCTION:

The Special Operations Squad is utilized to respond to unique or high risk situations in which specialized training and equipment is necessary. Situations requiring such response may include, but not limited to: Barricaded Supects, Hostage Situations, Suicidal Individuals, Sniper Situations, Mass Arrest Situations, High Risk Drug Raids and/or Warrant Service, Honor Guard, Civil Disorder, and Dignitary Protection. Major criminal occurances are incidents in which the lives of citizens or officers is jeopardized by the criminal conduct of others and the scope of the conduct requires prolonged or extensive efforts by the Knoxville Police Department to resolve.

MAKEUP:

The present squad consists of twenty-six officers who particpate as members in addition to their regular duties as police officers with the Department. They are assigned to various functions, either as patrol officers, supervisors, investigators, narcotics officers, or training officers. The Squad consist of four distinct teams. While each officer is trained and may serve as entry teams, there are two designated teams just for high risk entries. These two teams rotate as either the primary or secondary entry units. The third team serves in a containment function, protecting the inner perimeter and are utilized to deliver chemical agents, aid in the release of hostages, and taking the suspect into custody in the case of surrender. They may also assist in the delivering of negotiated items. The fourth team is comprised of the counter sniper unit and observers, who provide intelligence and long range fire support. They are assigned the function of outer perimeter protection.

TRAINING:

Training to become a member of the Squad normally occurs yearly. To be considered for the team, minimum standards must be reached consisting of: 2 years service with the Department, no substantiated physical or verbal abuse complaints, firearms qualifications requirements, recommendation of present and previous supervisors, and physical qualifications. The physical qualifications consist of: 3.1 mile run in 31 minutes, 50 pushups, 50 situps, 8 pullups, a 1.5 mile run in 12 minutes, and completion of an obstacle course. After passing these requirements, the applicants must pass an interview board to be accepted to the Basic Training. The training course is 7 days, 80 hours long for Departmental personnel and 5 days / 45 hours long for members of outside agencies.

CURRENT EVENTS:

Lt. Jeff Stiles is the new Homeland Security Coordinator for the Knoxville Police Department and is working with other agencies on federal funding/grants, training, and response protocols. Recent retirements: Lt. Mark Pressley Sgt. Scott Sheppard Sgt. Tim Snoderly Sgt. Tom Hitefield

SITE UPDATED ON REGULAR BASIS !!!

FAQ:

IS THE KNOXVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT'S SWAT TEAM, A FULL TIME SWAT TEAM?

No, the officers on the Squad are assigned to normal police department functions. At present, there are three lieutenants as well as six sergeants. There is one investigator, two assigned to the Motor Unit, two assigned to the Training Unit, two to the Property Unit, and the rest are assigned to the Operations Division.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAIN?

After the initial basic school, memmbers train eight hours a month. As additional training becomes available, officers attend training offered by other agencies such as the Department of Defense, the F.B.I., Def-Tec, IACP, etc. Mock exercises are included three times a year, involving additional units and agency involvement.

WHAT TYPE OF ACTIVITIES DOES YOUR UNIT RESPOND TO?

The primary response is to assist in the resolution of critical incidents. The Squad also assists with the serving of high risk drug, search, and felony warrants for the Narcotics and Investigative Units. Members make up the Honor Guard of the Department, and serving in that capacity, conduct the 21 gun salute and flag service at funerals and memorial services. The members also make presentations to public groups such as the Department's Citizen Police Academy, youth groups, and other public demonstrations on their equipment and capabilities. Members have taken on the responsibility of training and preparing for homeland security issues.

IS THERE ADDITIONAL TRAINING BEING OFFERED?

The Knoxville Police Department offers various tactical training periodically throughout the year. The team will post for new members in the spring of 2005. For additional information contact Lt. Doug Stiles, Special Operations Commander, at (865)215-7207.

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