Divisions

Special Operations Section

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At the direction of the Patrol Operations Division Commander, the Special Operations Section is responsible for providing the Department tactical support and the handling of situations involving explosives materials. The Special Operations Section is comprised of five units, the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (S.W.A.T), the Explosive Detection Unit (EDU) , Patrol K-9 UnitMotorcycle Unit, and Crisis Negotiation Unit.

Please forward any questions or comments to the Special Operations Section Commander, Lieutenant Robert Lenehan at rlenehan@mbta.com.

Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) 

The MBTA Transit Police Department's S.W.A.T. Unit was established in 1999 to deal with situations within the MBTA system which require specialized equipment, techniques and training. The Special Operations Unit is responsible for the tactical support of patrol operations during hazardous incidents or preplanned raids.

Police Officers assigned to S.W.A.T. are selected based on a range of criteria including: physical fitness, psychological testing, firearms proficiency, and supervisory recommendations. As MBTA Transit Police Officers, S.W.A.T. Officers also fulfill other full time assignments within the Department.

S.W.A.T. Officers receive specialized training from several sources including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) and joint training with other area Special Operations Units. Officer training scenarios are conducted on-board buses, on boats, on trains within tunnels, on elevated railways, and in stations. S.W.A.T. conducts training on a regular basis to maintain a high level of proficiency.

The use of specialized tactical Units increases the MBTA Transit Police Department's ability to respond to and deter criminal activity without endangering the safety of MBTA patrons, employees and other police personnel.

Please forward any questions or comments to the S.W.A.T. Unit Supervisor, Sergeant Eric B. White, at ewhite@mbta.com.

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Explosive Detection Unit

The Explosive Detection Unit (EDU) employs specialized, highly trained officers in the area of explosive ordinance disposal. As part of the Department’s Special Operations Unit, the EDU is under the direct supervision of a sergeant and is a department-wide asset. Bomb technicians assigned to the EDU are graduates of the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School and are trained in all facets of bomb disposal and render-safe procedures. They employ the latest, state of the art equipment and have developed special techniques for working in the transit environment. Transit Police bomb technicians continually train as a unit and with other area bomb squads.

The EDU also employs explosive detection dog teams who respond to abandoned packages and perform protective sweeps throughout the system. These dogs are specially trained in explosive odor detection and are all graduates of an intensive training course. They hold numerous certifications and continually train and recertify in the latest techniques.

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Patrol K-9 Unit

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The Transit Police Patrol K-9 Unit is comprised of the Department’s patrol dogs. While assigned on a daily basis to one of the Transit Police Service Area's (TPSA’s), the K-9’s provide the Department as a whole with specially trained police officer/K-9 teams. The Patrol K-9 unit consists exclusively of patrol trained dogs. Many of these dogs are also cross-trained as narcotics detection dogs. K-9 teams undergo an intensive sixteen week training program to become certified. This training consists of obedience, tracking, searching, and apprehension. Narcotics certification takes another eight weeks. Once certified, K-9 teams perform regular patrol functions throughout the transit system as well as handling special calls for the K-9, such as responding to building break-ins, tracking suspects, locating evidence, crowd control and drug searches. The K-9 Unit is also deployed to assist the Special Operations Team in the apprehension of suspects.

The Transit Police Patrol K-9 Unit has become a highly respected K-9 Unit within the law enforcement community and is routinely called upon to render mutual aid to local police agencies within the Commonwealth.

Please forward any questions or comments to msosa@mbta.com.

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Motorcycle Unit

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The MBTA Transit Police Motorcycle Unit, is a full time and year-round motorcycle unit. The primary function of the unit is to offer assistance of a specialized nature to the Patrol Operations Division.

The increased mobility of a motorcycle enables Motorcycle Officers to move easily and rapidly through heavy traffic, which make them a dependable asset when quick responses are needed to buses and subway stations in downtown Boston.

Motorcycles are assigned to each TPSA (Transit Police Service Area) and are deployed singularly or in pairs for regular patrol assignments and crowd control purposes. For major incidents multiple units are deployed simultaneously to enhance traffic control.

MBTA Transit Police Officers selected for this unit, attend a rigorous training program, which is instructed by Transit Police Sergeant Jason Morris who is a nationally certified Police Motorcycle Instructor. The MBTA Transit Police Motorcycle Unit is a well-known and respected unit in Massachusetts. The MBTA Transit Police Motorcycle Unit members have certified police officers from many Police Departments across the Commonwealth in Police Motorcycle Operation.

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Crisis Negotiation Unit

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The Transit Police Crisis Negotiation Unit is responsible for responding to all hostage and barricaded person(s) situations. The mission of the team is to gather intelligence and defuse potentially life-threatening situations through the use of proven verbal crisis management techniques. The Unit is a voluntary on-call unit and works closely with the S.W.A.T. Unit.  Both units train together on a regular basis. Members of the Crisis Negotiation Unit must complete a basic forty-hour Crisis Negotiations Course prior to being placed on the Unit. Unit members also take additional courses and attend regular seminars to further enhance their skills.

Hostage negotiators are carefully screened and selected. Criteria considered during the selection process involves psychological screening, which includes testing and a clinical interview by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. Experience as a law enforcement officer in a field assignment along with good verbal skills and problem-solving abilities are a prerequisite. After due consideration of this criteria, the hostage negotiator is selected for training and certification by the Chief of Police.