At an ever-increasing rate, situations involving special threats are confronting law enforcement agencies. Standard patrol resources have neither the manpower, training, nor equipment to effectively cope with those special threats. Experience has indicated that when inadequate resources and tactics are used, death and injury may result in unnecessarily among police, hostages, suspects, and innocent civilians.
The Lewiston Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team was established to provide assistance when a situation arises that exceeds the capabilities of standard patrol resources. Situations which may require the use of the SWAT Team include:
- Barricaded suspects who are armed or potentially dangerous
- Hostage incidents
- Service of felony arrests or search warrants involving suspects that are believed to be armed, or when there is a potential threat to officer safety or public safety
- Sniper incidents
- Any tactically complex situation where the use of the SWAT Team might reduce or eliminate potential danger
The goals of the SWAT Team are as follows:
- Isolate and contain the suspects
- Safety of officers
- Safety of hostages or persons located within the incident area
- Apprehend suspects
- Preserve and recover evidence
The Lewiston SWAT Team is made up of a total of 22 members. There are 18 officers assigned to the Tactical Unit and 4 members assigned to the Negotiation Unit. The SWAT Team is made up of members from the Lewiston Police Department, the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office, Nez Perce County Prosecutor’s Office, Asotin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clarkston Police Department.