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 14 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 riots, work or school place violence and high-risk search warrant entries for various investigative units including Narcotics, and Violent Crimes as well as supporting other local, state, and federal agencies upon request. 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 Hostage 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 several hundred yards away. The team also utilizes 'less-than-lethal' weapons such as the Taser, wood, foam, beanbag, and various chemical agents, all employed to prevent the use of police firearms.

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. Many SWAT members hold instructor ratings in various disciplines and provide instruction to assist HCPD Range staff in training and qualifications of other Department members and law enforcement agencies.

Negotiations Team

The Critical Incident Negotiations team has two team leaders, and six negotiators. Each team consists of four members: team leader, primary negotiator, coach, and investigative negotiator. CINT was formed in 1993 and meets the Federal Bureau of Investigations standards for negotiations teams. The team is a member of Horry County Special Operations and works closely with all the other teams. All the members are trained to deal with all types of critical incidents, including hostage situations, domestics, barricaded subjects and any other incident requiring the teams specific skills.

Bloodhound Tracking Team

The Horry County Police Department's Bloodhound Tracking Team (BTT) is a specialized tactical team consisting of eight officers and four dogs. The team is on call 24/7 to assist the police department and other agencies with fleeing felons, lost or missing children, Alzheimers 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 4 purebred bloodhounds. Red, Bell, and Babe are littermates and have been with the department for approximately 5 years. Their mother was a cadaver dog that worked at the World Trade Center during the 9-11 aftermath. The fourth bloodhound, Dru, has been working with the department for 4 years.

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.

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 police funerals,  parades, and other 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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