TACTICAL RESPONSE TEAM / S.W.A.T.
The Oakdale Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team was formed in 1997 after Oakdale was faced with a hostage incident at a local bank. Predicting a future need for such a resource, the Police Administration at that time with the permission of the Oakdale City Council, formed a special response team for just those type of incidents. The original equipment consisted of handguns, shotguns and surplus military items; such as helmets and camouflage uniforms. Training occurred one day a month. The original SWAT vehicle, an ambulance donated by Oak Valley Ambulance, was converted to fill the needs of SWAT.The current SWAT Team is comprised of one Tactical Commander, one Team Leader, one Assistant Team Leader, seven police officers and one firefighter/paramedic from the Oakdale City Fire Department. The SWAT Team also works closely with a tactical dispatcher and members of the department’s newly formed Crisis Response Team. The SWAT Team is a part-time team, meaning that officers assigned to the Team take on the duties and training requirements of SWAT Team members in addition to the duties of their regular assignment whether they are patrol officers, detectives, school resource officers or assigned to traffic enforcement.
The SWAT Team trains twice monthly, for a total of twenty hours per month, in many different disciplines and is on call twenty-four hours a day. The team members have all undergone intensive, specialized training, including a rigorous bi-annual physical fitness qualification, which also tests the officer’s marksmanship. Each officer is issued personal weapons and equipment. The team is equipped with the newest weaponry and technology including; assault rifles, diversionary devices, less lethal weapons and a ballistic shield which enables the team to enter hazardous situations without jeopardizing team safety.
Some of the SWAT Team disciplines include:
The Oakdale Police Department’s SWAT Team is a support resource within the police department. The team is also available to any local, regional, state or federal law enforcement agency upon request.
The primary objective of the Oakdale Police Department’s SWAT Team is to solve problems efficiently and effectively, using whatever means are available, whatever force is reasonable and necessary, with minimal risk to all involved.
The following are examples of situations that, by their potentially violent and/or specialized nature, indicate the recommendation of SWAT Team mobilization.
Anyone interested in receiving a presentation regarding Oakdale Police Department’s SWAT Team (equipment used, demonstrations, etc.) should contact Lt. Vernon Gladney at (209) 845-3529 or Master Officer Ben Savage at (209) 845-3319.