Special Operations

Special Operations consists of the following Special Teams: SWAT, Bomb Squad, Negotiations Team, Tracking, Honor Guard and Peer Team.


Bomb Squad

The Horry County Police Department Bomb Squad's mission is to preserve life, limit destruction of property and restore operations to a normal state during high risk situations involving the use or threatened use of explosives, nuclear, chemical, biological or other hazardous elements.  The mission is accomplished through the use of specialized training, equipment and tactics in a professional manner that inspires confidences in the community.

Bomb Squad Responsibilities:

  • Provide training to Law Enforcement Agencies, Fire Departments, local businesses, and civilian organizations, on the recognition of explosives, and improvised explosive devices. Assist those groups in establishing proper procedures for handling of bomb calls and safely completing bomb searches.
  • Identify and render safe suspicious packages, hazardous devices or weapons of mass destruction, located in and near Horry County.
  • Threat assessments of government and civilian structures.

What is an Explosive?

An Explosive is an energetic material that undergoes an exothermal chemical reaction in a fraction of a second, releasing a large amount of energy. Normally designed to create an instantaneous production of superheated gases, which rapidly expand into a greater volume.

Explosive Hazards

Pre-detonation:

Energetic material (explosives) can become very unstable through time! Old explosives and blasting caps should never be touched; the slightest movement can cause an unwanted detonation (Especially Old Dynamite and Copper Blasting Caps). Most Explosives are very sensitive to heat, shock, friction, and static electricity (the static electricity created by the human body in enough to cause an unwanted detonation). Often, explosives contain toxic chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin.

Post –detonation:

  • Fire
  • Unexploded Material
  • Toxic Fumes
  • Damage to structure, and utilities that can cause further injury.

SWAT

Horry County Police SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics Team) under the command of Captain Kris Leonhardt is part of the Special Operations Division. SWAT consists of 21 Police Officers, 1 team commander and 2 team leaders who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The unit's highly motivated and specially trained personnel provide tactical response to hostage situations, barricaded persons, sniper and terrorism incidents, crowd control during major disturbances or civil disturbances, work or school place violence, high-risk search warrant entries for various investigative units, including Narcotics, and Violent Crimes, heavy water rescues and officer down rescues as well as supporting other local, state, and federal agencies upon request. 

The SWAT team specializes in various firearms and less than lethal options. They also support departmental precincts by conducting drug emphasis backup and respond with patrol on high-risk calls for service. In addition, SWAT works directly with the department's Explosive Ordinance Division, Bloodhound Tracking Team and Crisis Negotiation Team to resolve hostage incidents non-violently. While the goal of every Police Officer is to save lives and de-escalate the potential for violence, there are times when a violent suspect must be prevented from killing innocent victims or bystanders.

SWAT marksmen are highly trained and disciplined to make precision rifle shots at varying distances. They conduct specialized operations to include reconnaissance, over-watch, and long-range precision marksmanship utilizing purpose-built equipment. The marksmen team conduct monthly training in addition to their SWAT training.

To maintain the skills necessary to handle high-risk situations, SWAT members train rigorously on a bi-weekly basis. Team members receive over 200 training hours annually with specialized firearms and equipment, less lethal options,  physical fitness, building entry (to include explosive breaching), building clearing, active shooter training, counter sniper operations, and chemical dispersion.

Individuals interested in testing for SWAT should be prepared for a physically demanding, fast paced environment with the ability to effectively carry-out advanced tactical maneuvers.

Negotiations Team

The Crisis Negotiations Team (CNT) is made up of ten team members two team leaders and a team commander. Each team member attends the FBI basic negotiations class to become a certified Hostage/Crisis Negotiator. The course trains officers in strategies, intelligence gathering, communication, psychology of negotiations, terrorism and extremist groups and suicide intervention.

The CNT is on-call 24/7. They respond to varying calls to include hostage situations, barricaded subjects, domestic situations and suicide intervention.

The team trains every month and attends additional training to include joint training with the BTT, SWAT and Bomb Teams. They also respond to assist various local and state agencies.


Bloodhound Tracking Team

The Horry County Police Department's Bloodhound Tracking Team (BTT) is a specialized tactical team consisting ten officers and six dogs. The team is on call 24/7 to assist the police department and other agencies with fleeing felons, lost or missing children, Alzheimer's patients, and evidence recovery.

Each member is cross-trained in dog handling, man tracking, and both rural and urban tactical skills and movement.

The team has 6 bloodhounds; Josie, Ruby, Charli, Bella, Gabby & Sadie who train weekly with the handlers.

The bloodhounds extraordinary sense of smell and the training of the BTT officers has led to multiple captures of dangerous felons and the safe recovery of multiple missing/lost children and elderly persons.

Individuals interested in becoming a member of the BTT should be prepared for a physically demanding training schedule through varying and extended climates and terrain.

Honor Guard

The Horry County  Police Department Honor Guard was formed in 2003 for the purpose of providing ceremonial services for Horry County Police officers, active, or retired. The Honor Guard Team represents the organization, members, and their families at ceremonial occasions, both solemn and festive.  

The goal of the unit is to render honors, preserve tradition, instill pride, and stimulate Esprit-de-corps. The Honor Guard exists to pay respect and to give honor to those who in the exemplary fashion, and more importantly, to remember those whose lives were dedicated to the service of their community. 

The Honor Guard is a self-sufficient unit that trains together as a flexible and extremely disciplined team. 

The Honor decorum, respect, and strives toward perfection in presentation and display of The Colors of the State of South Carolina, and the United States of America. 

Primary Functions of the unit are to perform at parades, holiday observances, burials of police officers, and other public exhibitions, as deemed appropriate by the Chief of Police.

Tips

Crime Tips

Please email the Criminal Investigations Division at crimetips@horrycounty.org or call 843-915-TIPS (8477)

Drug and Vice Tips

Please email Special Operations at drugtips@horrycounty.org or call 843-915-8346

Warrants Tips

To send us tips on individuals with outstanding warrants, please email Warrants at mostwanted@horrycounty.org or call 843-915-5688

Non-emergency Line: 843-248-1520
Emergency Line: 9-1-1

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