The Special Operations Division is a diverse group with varying responsibilities. Under the umbrella of Special Operations are the following Units: Traffic Safety, Accident Investigation (AIU), Motorcycle, Highway Traffic Safety, the Special Response Team, Hawthorne District Patrol, Independence Center Substation, D.A.R.E. and SRO programs, the Reserve Unit and the Canine Unit.
The Traffic Safety Unit consists of a squad of Accident Investigators and a squad of Selective Enforcement officers. The primary goal of the Traffic Safety 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 Traffic Safety 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 provides 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”, or the discovery of controlled substances.
The Reserve Unit is composed of part-time, but 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.