Week 6 covered the K-9 unit and TACT (SWAT) unit.
The K-9 unit currently has 4 dogs – Chico, Zeke, Arras, and Baron. All 4 are German Shepards, except for Arras, who is 1/2 Malinois. The dogs range in age from 3 to 5 1/2, and in price from $4500 to $9000. Dogs primarily come from European countries, since the bloodline of German Shepards in the US isn’t pure enough in most cases. The K-9 unit has been in service with Wyoming since 1989. In 2008, the unit was activated 193 times, primarily to track people or search for drugs.
TACT (Tactical Arrest & Confrontation Team) is Wyoming’s version of SWAT. It was established in 1974 to assist in serving high-risk arrest warrants, and dealing with hostage situations. Weapons vary by officer, currently offered are the M-4, the MP-5, and the Remington 700 rifle. They also have a wide variety of non-lethal options, such as rubber & bean bag rounds, tear gas, and the Taser.
TACT’s first armored vehicle was a re purposed Brinks security truck, purchased used for $10. The team currently uses a non-armored, customized deployment vehicle (customized by a Grand Rapids area RV garage). For more dangerous situations, a Bearcat is shared by all Kent County offices, and housed in the GRPD garage.