Specialty Teams

Graphic:  Scuba teamEach of the seven field divisions deploys tactical teams, canine teams and SCUBA teams. These teams are available 24 hours a day to assist local law enforcement agencies or State Police personnel. Tactical teams assist in the execution of high-risk search or arrest warrants and in dealing with hostage situations. Canine teams are available to track lost persons or fugitives, search for suspects of crimes, and detect illegal drugs, explosives, or accelerants used in arsons. SCUBA teams are used to recover drowning victims, conduct swift water rescues, or search for evidence of criminal activity.

Canine Program

Canine teams are available to track lost persons or fugitives, search for suspects, and detect explosives or accelerants used in arsons. At the present time, there are two canine training facilities operated by the Department. The first is located at the Training Academy in Richmond and the second is located at the Abingdon Regional Jail in Washington County. Learn more about our Canine program >>

Tactical Team Program

The Tactical Field Force is designed to provide an organized and disciplined response to life-threatening events that require specialized training to ensure safe resolutions. Learn more about our Tactical Team Program >>

SCUBA Program

During 2019 the Department's Search and Recovery Team had:

Calls for Service 708
Land SAR 117
Swiftwater 31
Medical 175
SRT Demo 23

Training Exercises 112
Total Assist to other Agencies 411


Weapons 63
Murder weapons 12
Vehicles 16
Boats 2
Bodies 24

Total Property Recovered $432,400.00

The Department’s Search and Recovery Team continues to expand the capabilities through a proactive approach in recoveries, as well as our rescue missions.  This approach includes, but is not limited to, liaison with other departments, proactively searching believed criminal dump sites and maintaining our professional performance through innovative training and equipment acquisition.