The Kissimmee Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team (S.W.A.T.) was established in October 1985. The team was called the Crisis Intervention Unit, and consisted of nine members. In 1987, the name of the unit was changed to S.W.A.T., and it has since grown to its current strength of 22 members
- 1 - Commander
- 1 - Deputy Team Commander
- 2 - Team Leaders
- 2 - Assistant Team Leaders
- 1 - Intelligence Officer
- 5 - Snipers
- 10 - Entry/Assault Members
The mission of the S.W.A.T. team is the same now as it was when the unit was first established. The S.W.A.T. team is a group of personnel trained to resolve high-risk incidents, with a minimal loss of human life. Examples of such high risk incidents include, but are not limited to: Counter Sniper incidents; barricaded suspects; hostage situations; civil disorder; officer/citizen rescues; high risk search and arrest warrants; fugitive searches; high risk stakeouts, surveillance or decoy operations; dignitary protection; and any other situation as deemed necessary by the S.W.A.T. Commander.
The S.W.A.T. team trains together one day a month for 11 hours along with attending school. Training varies between tactics and firearms to maintain proficiency. The Tactical Long Rifle/Observer teams have an additional training day specifically related to their unit’s mission. The entire team trains annually with the Crisis Negotiation Team, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. team and Florida Highway Patrol S.W.A.T. team. The team also trains quarterly with other Central Florida S.W.A.T. teams as part of a Regional Task Force to improve communications and response times to any high-risk incident occurring in the Central Florida region.
The Kissimmee Police Department aspires to give the citizens of every community the utmost professional and positive services available. In order to keep up with these ever-changing violent times, it is necessary to have a proficient and flexible S.W.A.T. team. One of the key philosophies is the team concept. It is our belief, that a small group of officers, who train together regularly, will produce successful results in most high-risk scenarios.
This team concept is the result of many hours spent together training, so that members may anticipate each other’s movement without having to communicate. They have to be able to immediately adapt to unforeseen situations, without the loss of the mission’s objective. They move as one, with the expertise of many. They are unquestionably accountable to each other, understanding that they must strive to perform perfectly during the mission, as their team member’s life depends on it.
Each member must without question understand the mission, the role of the team, their individual role, and the commitment required. When the highest level of individual ability is obtained in each of these areas, then the team concept has been fully realized.
When the Kissimmee Police Department’s S.W.A.T. team was formed, the members adopted a motto, which represents the goal and mindset of its members, from the command staff on down. “Cum omnia alia deficiunt,” which is Latin for, “When all else fails.” We believe that the use of deadly force should only be employed as a last resort. As such, our planning and mission objectives are oriented toward resolving each situation, without injury or loss of life.
We also recognize that some of the individuals that a S.W.A.T. team will be confronted with, are not concerned with anyone’s life, including their own. Any and all options will be considered. However, when negotiations and other tactics fail to bring about compliance, the Kissimmee Police S.W.A.T. team is prepared to do whatever is necessary to end the threat, and arrest or capture the offender.