Specialized Services



The Specialized Services Division (SSD) performs a number of diverse functions that require unique skills.

 

The SWAT Team
The SWAT teams train extensively all year to maintain a high level of proficiency.  When they are not training, they perform other assignments, such as interagency assistance with marijuana eradication, airport drug interdiction, service of search warrants, Coast Guard ship-boarding exercises, and land-navigation training with the marines at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.  They also work with various federal agencies to provide protection for national and international dignitaries.

 

The Bomb Unit
The Bomb Unit personnel respond to calls for service, which include military ordnance, improvised explosive devices, commercial explosives, and hoax devices.  The unit also provides training to schools and other agencies regarding explosives and emergency evacuation procedures.


The Canine Unit
Officers in the Canine Unit are called upon to search for prison escapees, missing persons, and felony suspects.  They are also used in narcotics and explosives detection.  Each dog has a badge designation and is considered an officer assigned to the Honolulu Police Department's (HPD) SSD.

 

The Helicopter Section
The primary functions of the Helicopter Section are to provide aerial observation and support to units of the HPD and related agencies.  The section also provides special support to other operations, such as traffic monitoring, recovery of stolen vehicles, and the eradication of marijuana and other illegal drugs.


History

History

The SWAT Team

The SWAT Team

The SWAT Team

The SWAT Team

Specialized Services Division

Specialized Services Division

The SWAT Team

The SWAT Team

SWAT

SWAT

The Bomb Unit

The Bomb Unit

The Bomb Unit

The Bomb Unit

The Bomb Unit

The Bomb Unit

The Canine Unit

The Canine Unit

The Canine Unit

The Canine Unit

The Canine Unit

The Canine Unit

Canine Unit

Canine Unit

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The Helicopter Section

The SSD Command Vehicle

The SSD Command Vehicle

SSD Community Connection

SSD Community Connection

SSD Community Connection

SSD Community Connection

SSD Community Connection

SSD Community Connection

SSD Community Connection

SSD Community Connection

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The roots of the SSD go back to 1946 when a seven-member, quick response unit known as the Metro Squad was created to battle gang violence.

Over the years the unit grew and expanded its duties and responsibilities. In 1972, it was known as the Tactical Operation Division. In 1986, the division was created and renamed to SSD.

The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams' primary function is to handle dangerous situations, such as hostage, sniper, and barricaded suspect incidents.

The Specialized Weapons and Tactics teams are made up of police officers who have undergone intensive, specialized training. The units can be deployed for immediate response to high-risk calls, such as barricaded suspects, sniper and hostage incidents, or any other situations that require their unique type of training.

SSD team members are selected from the ranks of the department. After a strenuous evaluation, both mental and physical, those selected are given the best training available.

The SSD is involved in many community programs, such as the "Dare Day" celebration and the "Say Hi" school program.

The image above is the one that we are most familiar with when we think of the SWAT team.

SWAT firearms training.

The Bomb Unit consists of five bomb technicians and four hazardous materials technicians. They respond to calls for service that include improvised explosive devices, commercial explosives, military ordnance, suspicious packages/letters, and hoax devices. The unit also provides training to government institutions, private business establishments, and other agencies regarding bomb threat emergency procedures.

SSD Bomb Technition with bomb robots.

The HPD's bomb disposal robot are used during render safe procedures and to assist the SWAT teams.

The HPD's Canine Unit began as a pilot program in 1957 under Chief Dan Liu. The first canine unit consisted of 12 officers. The dogs, mainly German shepherds, were donated by residents of Honolulu. The officers constructed their own training facility, including an eight-stall kennel, using their personal donations of money and labor. The officers also trained during off-duty hours.

By 1961, the unit had became a full-fledged part of the HPD when the Metro Squad (forerunner of today's SSD) employed "police dogs" as a part of their patrols of Waikiki.

In 1989, dogs trained in the detection of narcotics were first used by the Narcotics/Vice Division. Since that time, they have helped police seize millions of dollars in drugs and cash. The Canine Unit's tasks also include explosive detection, tracking, suspect apprehension, and the location of articles or evidence at a crime scene.

As times and task requirements changed, the German shepherds were replaced by a more durable breed of dogs--the Dutch shepherd and the Belgium Malinois.

Canine article search training.

On December 4, 1970 the Honolulu Police Department's first helicopter, a two passenger Hughes 269-C, was blessed and put into service. It was purchased at a cost of $100,000 dollars. The helicopter was named "Ka Imi", which means "seeker" or "searcher", by a student at Pearl City Highlands Elementary School.

The primary functions of the helicopter section is to provide aerial observation and support to units of the HPD and related agencies. The helicopter section also assists with traffic monitoring,recovery of stolen vehicles and the eradication of marijuana. There are two helicopters assigned to the division's helicopter section.

HPD's helicopters are equipped with a loud speaker system, high-intensity spotlight, FLIR heat sensing system, night vision goggles, and GPS.

Personnel assigned to the helicopter unit which is based at the Honolulu International Airport, consist of two civilian reserve officers as pilots and two tactical officers who are observers.

SSD officers being transported on skid of helicopter.

Repelling from the helicopter.

SSD command truck

A chance to take an up-close look at HPD's Notar helicopter.

The SSD is involved in many community programs, such as the "Dare Day" celebration, the "Police Explorers Conference" and the "Say Hi" school program.

DARE Day celebration at Stan Sheriff Center.

DARE Day celebration at Stan Sheriff Center.




Specialized Services Division (S.W.A.T.)




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