The Special Operations Division is a diverse group with varying responsibilities. Under the umbrella of Special Operations are the following Units: Traffic Safety, the Special Weapons and Tactics, Hawthorne Place Patrol, Independence Center Substation, D.A.R.E. and School Resource Officers , the Reserves and the Canine .
The Traffic Safety Unit consists of officers trained in Accident Investigation and Selective Enforcement. The primary goal of the unit is to improve the safety of the roadways of Independence through the enforcement of traffic laws, the investigation of traffic accidents, and working with traffic engineering agencies to improve the flow of pedestrian and vehicle movement. The Traffic Safety Unit is also aggressive in the enforcement of laws aimed at impaired drivers. The Unit also has a full-time parking enforcement officer, as well as volunteers who assist with handicapped parking and fire lane enforcement and school crossings.
Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) includes a full-time team of officers and one part-time team. SWAT provides support to the Patrol Division and other units within the police department. SWAT has many duties, but chief among them is the handling of barricaded party and hostage situations and high risk warrant service. SWAT trains regularly to remain adept at handling dangerous situations with the goal of ensuring a peaceful outcome and the safety of all.
The Canine Unit included one sergeant and four officers providing support to the Patrol Division and other units through the use of specially trained police dogs. The dogs are trained in “patrol work”, which is essentially the tracking of humans, and “narcotics work”, the discovery of controlled substances.
Two police officers are assigned full-time to the Independence Center and operate a police substation there. While maintaining a police presence at the center, they respond to all law violations including thefts and disturbances. They are also responsible for the police department's nuisance abatement program and the crime free multi-housing program.
Two police officers are assigned full-time to the Hawthorne Place Apartments. These officers work closely with the residents and the management team to deter crime and support a good quality of life for its residents.
There are two officers assigned to the D.A.R.E.(Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Unit as well as six School Resource Officers (SROs) and two Truancy Officers assigned to schools in the Independence School District.
The Public Information Officer(s) serves as a central source of information for the media of newsworthy information. The Public Information Officer meets with police staff and media representatives to address news media requests and to provide updates on current investigations. In addition, the Public Information Officer responds to all major incidents and coordinates the release of information to the public. The department has two Crime Prevention Officers who responsibilities including coordinating adult crime prevention education, the neighborhood watch program and the Volunteers In Police Services program. They also handle numerous community affairs related functions. Officers from this unit also operate and maintain the Department's social media capabilities including its Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube page.
The Reserve Unit is composed of retired IPD officers, but still fully certified police officers who assist various units within the Police Department. These officers help in large scale operations, special events, and even routine patrol work. They provide valuable assistance to the department when it needs it most.