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SUQUAMISH POLICE DEPARTMENT TACTICAL & TRACKING TEAM

The Suquamish Tactical & Tracking Team (TNT) is a highly specialized team with the primary function of operating in rural and rugged environments. The team is utilized for warrant service, surveillance operations, marijuana eradication, search and rescue, and tactical tracking.

The team is comprised of 6 operators and 1 administrator, and each member on the team has a primary and secondary specialized job assignment. Some of the assignments include tactical medics, communications, navigations, surveillance equipment tech, evidence tech and designated marksman.

THE TEAM

The team entry requirements are that each officer must be a Law Enforcement Officer for at least 3 years, pass a physical fitness test, shoot 90% or better in both pistol and rifle qualifications, complete an interview process and successfully complete a tactical tracking operations course. Once on the team, each member is assigned a primary and secondary job assignment. The officers are expected to become SME (Subject Matter Experts) in each assignment, and must not only be able to tactically be able to perform the task, but to teach other members courses on the skill. The team members are expected to maintain a high level of fitness and must pass a physical fitness test every 3 months. These fitness test are combinations of commonly used SWAT team fitness tests. The tests combine endurance and strength requirements while under duress. The test uses TACFIT, Raider Tactical Fitness and CrossFit techniques and testing. The team members are also must maintain a high level of proficiency in firearms with all weapons used by the team (pistol, rifle and shotgun). If designated marksman (DM) they must also qualify using their sniper rifle.

  1. Commander (Chief Lasnier)
  2. Team Leader (TL) / tracker /DM (Drake)
  3. Assist Team Leader and Medic (Brennan)
  4. Tracker / Navigation ( White)
  5. Flanker / Medic/ Comms (Meador)
  6. Tracker / Flanker / Comms (Stewart)
  7. Flanker / Nav / (Cristopher) NOT PRESENT

TRAINING

A training day usually starts with physical fitness training. The team uses a combination of several different fitness techniques taken from TACFIT, Raider Tactical Combatives and Crossfit to maintain a higher-than-normal level of fitness. The second session of the training day is combative training. This is a combination of MMA sparring, ground tactics and knife defense/CQB (Close Quarters Battle ) skills. And on a normal training day, we add a run or distance hike with a 40 pound pack and weapons.

EQUIPMENT LOADOUT

  1. M-4 rifle / 6 x 30 round mags
  2. DM
  3. Load bearing vest / soft body armor
  4. Pistol / 4 full mags
  5. Rhino GPS
  6. Fixed blade knife / folding tool
  7. Tactical personal med kits
  8. TAC MED officer full kit
  9. Binoculars
  10. NVG and Thermal scope
  11. H2O and Nutrition bars

SITUATION

Instructor: Drake/Lightfoot

While on routine patrol, an officer is checking on two people in the swamp land at Camp Indianola. The officer does not return status checks so CENCOM calls another patrol officer to check on the first. The second officer on scene calls an officer down and, taking fire from the woodline, cannot get to the downed officer. The suspect vehicle is recognized and known to belong to two brothers that have anti-government views and have been known to be aggressive with law enforcement in the past.

MISSION

• Task 01 is to get to Downed Officer, perform aid under fire, move downed officer to safe location for aid crew pickup.
• Task 02 is to track and apprehend suspects, keeping good evidence-collection procedures.

EXECUTION

The TNT team will coordinate with the Maritime Division to get landing craft to get a secondary approach of attack location. Once the scene is secure, medics will perform medical on downed officer. The TNT will then form up and begin tracking the bad guys. TNT will close the time/distance gap using tracking procedures to close with and apprehend suspects.

AAR (AFTER ACTION REPORT)

During Combative Training the Tactical and Tracking team was given their orders. An officer was attacked while checking on some campers. The officer was wounded in the attack, and when the backup officer came to assist he received gun fire from a woodline and could not get to the wounded officer. The officer gave information on the two suspects, who were known to law enforcement as anti-government survivalists and have had confrontations with LEO’s in the past.

After being given the scenario, the TNT team did a map recon of the area and saw that there were only two ways to get to the downed officer. One was through the woods via a 1.5 mile hike; otherwise the team could make an approach from the water. The team leader contacted members of the maritime unit and was authorized for use of the department landing craft.

The team assembled on the landing craft at the Suquamish dock and made the 2 mile ride. The boat operator used fishing vessels in the area to mask the approach of the team. As the boat was approaching the shoreline, the designated marksman saw movement to the north in the woodline. As the team departed the DM gave the team instructions on where the suspects were moving. The primary mission was to get to the downed officer and begin aid.

As the team approached the officer, the Medic made contact and learned that the officer was hit by two bullets and was losing consciousness and blood. The medic started to perform aid as the team formed a protective perimeter around the scene. When the scene was secure the team leader called in an aid car and ordered the detectives to start their investigation.

The secondary mission was to arrest the suspects. Because the DM had caught movement of the suspects in the woodline, we were able to bypass the initial track up and move directly to the woodline. As the team entered the woodline the right flanker had hit an anti-personnel device causing a loud explosion. The team was able to pick up the trail of the suspects and follow them through heavy wooded area. The team recognized several different anti-tracking techniques, but determined the suspects were continuing to travel at consistent southeast direction. This information was given to perimeter officers, who positioned their vehicles where they could observe any suspects leaving the wooded area to the road.

The team leader noticed bird movement and called directly ahead of the team, giving the TL an indication that the team was close to the suspects. The two flankers moved up the track line and the right flanker then spotted the suspects. The team moved in and surrounded the suspects. When the team was in place the challenge was given and the suspects gave up. The track was overall just over 1.25 miles in length. It went from the water across an open beach, through swampland and into the thick wooded area where suspects were apprehended. The team was trained in not only tracking but trap identification along the way, in addition to moving suspects to an area of advantage for officers and how to avoid being sucked into the suspect’s area of advantage.

All training goals were met.