SWAT

Overview & Duties

The Windsor Heights Police Department assigns one officer to a part-time specialization position with the Des Moines metropolitan area specialized weapons and tactics unit. This individual is assigned to an on-call entry team and serves as the Department’s liaison with this organization.

Metro Special Tactics and Response (S.T.A.R.) operates as a specialized unit within the Homeland Security Bureau, providing personnel trained in the use of specialized equipment to handle a wide variety of critical incidents. Some of the areas that members have expertise include:

  • Bombings
  • Intentional releases of hazardous materials
  • Hostage taking
  • Hijacking
  • Armed Assaults
  • Active Shooter
  • Events with a large number of ill, injured or deceased
  • Threats to commit a terrorist act
  • Barricaded subjects
  • Civil disobedience
  • Dignitary Escort and Protection
  • Waterway Operations

Entry Team

The Metro S.T.A.R. Entry Team personnel have received training from private sector organizations as well as from the United States Military. Team training also consists of calisthenics, strength exercises, firearms drills, team movement drills, high risk warrant service, hostage rescue, barricaded persons, weapons qualification, rappelling and downed officer extraction.

In addition to responding to crisis calls, the team serves high risk arrest and narcotics warrants. Metro S.T.A.R. also provides motorcade and site security when a dignitary comes into town. If the dignitary stays overnight, security is provided around the clock until the dignitary leaves the city.

The mission of the SWAT Team is to resolve extreme risk situations with a minimum use of force, personal injury or property damage. The SWAT team has been trained to handle unconventional and high risk law enforcement situations. These situations involve a higher than normal risk or one requiring special skills unique to a tactical unit.