The Lafayette Police Department currently staffs a part-time volunteer SWAT Team. Officers with various assignments attend training dates throughout the year to assist the team members in sharpening their skills in police SWAT tactics. These officers must have a minimum of 2 years of experience and must pass numerous rigorous tasks in order to be accepted as a probationary member. Each member attends a 60-hour Basic SWAT School that is hosted by the Lafayette Police Department once a year. The SWAT School, which is open to enrollment to other agencies, covers a variety of topics. It provides each attendee the basic skills that entry level SWAT officers need in order to begin their career.
The mission of the Lafayette SWAT Team is to support the Lafayette Police Department and any other requesting law enforcement agency with a tactical response to a critical situation. These situations include, but are not limited to hostage situations, barricade situations, sniper situations, apprehensions, warrant service and personal protection.
The Lafayette Police Department recognizes that the presence of a highly trained, highly skilled police tactical unit has been shown to substantially reduce the risk of injury or loss of life to citizens, police officers and suspects. In addition, well managed “team” responses to critical incidents usually result in successful resolution of critical incidents.
The Lafayette Police Department also staffs a Negotiator’s Team. These select few officers are highly trained in the art of negotiations in critical situations. Negotiators are primarily deployed in situations where a person(s) has barricaded themselves and refusing to exit a structure. When deployed, this team of professionals attempts to establish contact with the person in the critical incident in hopes of providing a peaceful resolution to every situation. The Negotiator’s must attend a basic course and continue to train in order to perfect their skills.