The Oklahoma City 911 Communications Center is a division within the Oklahoma City Police Department. The center is the largest Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in the state of Oklahoma. The PSAP is staffed with specially trained, non-sworn employees, who are responsible for answering approximately 1 million calls annually on the 911 and 297-2121(non-emergency) lines. Depending on the call, these calls are screened, entered into our computer aided dispatch (CAD) and dispatched to police officers in the field. The 911 Communications Center has 70 budgeted non-sworn positions. The facility operates twenty-four hours a day; seven days a week to serve the residents of Oklahoma City.
The Air Support Unit was established in 1973 and consisted of only one helicopter, four officers and one supervisor. As the City of Oklahoma City grew, the demands on the Police Department and the Air Support Unit required an expansion beyond the initial needs during the early years of the unit.
The Air Support Unit is now comprised two helicopters, eight pilots, one lieutenant and two civilian personnel who serve as mechanical technicians. The Air Support Unit falls under the command of the Uniform Support Division.
The Department currently uses two recently purchased 2013 Airbus AS350 B3E helicopters to fly missions and provide support to police officers throughout the metro area. Missions include searching for suspects attempting to elude capture and locating lost or missing children and adults. Pilots assigned to the unit are police officers who have undergone extensive training and flight time to attain pilot certification and proficiency ratings.
The mission of the Oklahoma City Police Department Bomb Squad is to provide experienced service for the safe resolution of both criminal and non-criminal incidents involving explosives. The Bomb Squad promotes public education in the areas of bomb threats and development of organizational procedures in handling potentially explosive incidents. Bomb technicians accomplish this by making public presentations and providing technical support when requested.
The Bomb Squad was created in 1971 to handle the expanding number of hazardous encounters with explosive materials. At the time there was no single entity within the City or county that was capable of safely handling and disposing of explosive materials. Given the fact that some of the explosives were designed and used for criminal purposes necessitated the need for a police unit capable of safely handling, disposing of and investigating explosive incidents.
Nationwide, all certified bomb technicians receive six weeks of basic training at the same facility, the FBI Hazardous Devices School, Redstone Arsenal, in Huntsville, Ala. Bomb technicians receive highly specialized training in the utilization of specifically designed tools and equipment for the safe disposal and criminal investigation of explosive incidents. The Oklahoma City Police Department’s Bomb Squad is a federally certified and accredited unit. The Bomb Technicians assigned to the Bomb Squad are federally certified and must maintain a minimum number of annual training hours to retain individual certification.
The O.C.P.D. Canine Unit was established in 1963 with five handler/dog teams for the purpose of locating suspected criminals in hiding and finding evidence. The unit is currently comprised of nine canine teams and the Emergency Services Lieutenant. The mission of the Canine Unit is to provide trained police canine teams to assist in the prevention and detection of crime, locating persons sought by the police, promotion of a favorable public image of the Department and to carry out other duties as may be directed by the Emergency Services Lieutenant. This includes but is not limited to the enforcement of all applicable laws, statutes, and ordinances to ensure the safety of citizens within Oklahoma City.
The Canine Unit may also be called upon to assist other specialized units in unusual or extraordinary circumstances. This may include the Tactical Unit, E.R.T., Special Projects, IMPACT, and the Bomb Squad.
Cops Helping Alleviate Police Problems (C.H.A.P.P.s) - Critical Incident Response & Peer Support Team
The mission of the C.H.A.P.P.s Program is first and foremost to support employees of the Oklahoma City Police Department and their family members during and following times of crisis in their lives. C.H.A.P.P.s members respond to an array of critical incidents which in many cases are so impactful that they can overwhelm the person's emotional coping mechanisms.
It is the policy of the C.H.A.P.P.s Program to respond to our "police family" without any regard given to race, religion, gender or the personal values of the person involved. We respond with no cost or obligation to the person involved and the person is free to conclude our assistance at any time.
"It isn't the event which is significant, rather, it's the meaning which we attach to the event that makes it significant."
Incidents for Response
Originally, the C.H.A.P.P.s Program started in 1983, members primarily responded to officer-involved shooting situations. The department wanted to address the problem of post-shooting trauma experienced by most officers. This was accomplished by providing a peer who could be there in person and provide support. C.H.A.P.P.s members began to realize that in the profession of law enforcement and in our personal lives there are a number of incidents that are powerful enough to overwhelm one’s normal coping skills; and we began expanding the number of different incidents to which we respond to. Currently we use the following list as a general response guide. It is important to note that we do not limit ourselves to these incidents. If we are needed or requested to an incident that is not listed, we will respond. The following list is not ranked in any particular order:
· Any serious injury of an officer (on or off-duty).
· Any serious illness, injury or death of any Departmental employee or their immediate family (as needed or requested).
· Following any event that has significant potential for overwhelming the employee (when requested).
· Following a significant loss of property (i.e. fire, flood, tornado, etc.).
· Any time an employee or their family requests our response or assistance.
The Crime Scene Unit is comprised of fourteen investigators, both commissioned officers and qualified civilian personnel. The purpose of the Crime Scene Unit is to provide the best possible services in investigations and photographic analysis of a crime scene. The objective is to achieve the highest possible level of efficiency in crime scene investigations in order to assist in a solution.
The primary duties and responsibilities of a Crime Scene Investigator consist of processing collected evidence and maintaining appropriate chain of custody to preserve crime scene evidence for presentation in court.
Essential job functions include: conducting inspections of crime scenes for the presence of evidence such as latent prints, footwear and tire impressions, firearms evidence, blood and other physiological fluids, controlled substances, and trace evidence such as hair, fibers, and gunshot residue; documenting crime scenes by using general and comparison photography, note taking and sketching and/or diagramming crime scenes, to include 3D laser scanning; and processing potential latent print surfaces by using standard powder, chemical, or photographic techniques.
The Data Systems Unit was created in 1994. The purpose of the unit is to provide assistance to police department personnel in the identification and selection of technology-based systems. The unit can also develop software, as needed, enabling personnel to deliver a more efficient and effective service. The unit is tasked with maintaining technology which is essential to Department operations, as well as the safety and welfare of employees and residents of the City of Oklahoma City. The unit is staffed by a captain, a lieutenant, four sworn and three non-sworn members of the Department.
The purpose of the Fleet Management Unit is to provide vehicles and associated equipment needed for departmental operations. Fleet Management is comprised of one sworn Fleet Manager and two civilian positions. The unit maintains records and coordinates vehicle maintenance and repairs when needed. Fleet Management personnel research equipment options and provide guidance in the purchase and implementation of new emergency equipment installed in police vehicles.
The Oklahoma City Police Department Honor Guard is a voluntary unit comprised of active duty officers and retired officers. It is a long standing tradition that the Honor Guard honors those Oklahoma City police officers, active or retired, who have died or have been killed in the line of duty, as well as officers from outside agencies that are killed in the line of duty. It is the responsibility of the Honor Guard Unit to assist in ceremonial presentations, funerals, Colors presentations, and any other function deemed appropriate by the Chief of Police. Acting under the authority of the Office of the Chief of Police, the Honor Guard stands ready to perform at the request of the Chief of Police.
In the early 1900’s the Oklahoma City Police Department formed the Solo Motorcycle Unit, making it the oldest specialized unit within the police department. Originally, the sole purpose of the unit was the enforcement of traffic laws within the City of Oklahoma City. Today, the Solo Motorcycle Unit specializes in enhanced and proactive traffic enforcement, vehicle escorts, traffic flow management, dignitary protection, and special events.
The Solo Motors Unit consists of 14 Solo Motorcycle officers and 2 Lieutenants. They are assigned out the Bricktown Division and work under the direction of the Bricktown Captain.
The O.C.P.D. Planning & Research Unit is a fundamental function of the department which is geared towards strategic planning and the research of new ideas and programs. The unit is comprised of three sworn positions. Supervisory staff consists of one Lieutenant and one Captain. The Captain reports directly to the Deputy Chief of the Administration Bureau. The unit’s focus is on the development of policies, procedures and programs which enhance the mission of the department. In addition to these functions, the unit is tasked with special assignments upon the request of the Chief of Police and the Command Staff.
The purpose of the Special Events Unit is to handle all activities related to special events, dignitary protection, and V.I.P escorts. The Special Events Unit serves as the primary liaison between the Oklahoma City Police Department and various event organizers. Special events include parades, entertainment events, sporting events, demonstrations, and dignitary visits. The objective of this unit is to coordinate police resources required to maintain security, traffic control, and crowd control at special events throughout the community. For information related to organizing a special event please go to the City's special events page.
The Staff Inspections and Accreditation Unit is comprised of two sworn positions and one Accreditation Manager. The unit conducts comprehensive reviews and analysis of departmental operations, procedures, personnel and facilities. The focus of the unit is to proactively identify potential problems throughout the police department before they occur, and make recommendations for improvements. This unit is also responsible for oversight of the department’s CALEA accreditation process.
The Oklahoma City Police Department’s Tactical Unit was established in 1973 to address the on-going needs for officers responding to situations requiring equipment and training beyond the scope of normal police training. The Tactical Unit is utilized to deal with dignitary protection, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, or any event where a requirement exists for special operations or tactics. The primary operational mission in high-risk situations is to contain and isolate the danger. Negotiations shall be the primary function of the Tactical Unit. The use of force should be used only as a last resort to resolve the situation when all other means have failed.
The Tactical Unit, when ordered by the Unit Commander, initiates a pre-planned action with the goal being the apprehension of the suspect(s) with minimal danger to the hostages, by-standers, the citizens of Oklahoma City, or police personnel. The safety of everyone involved is more important than the quick apprehension of the suspect(s). As circumstances dictate, the Tactical Unit takes whatever action is necessary to resolve the situation.
The Traffic Investigations Unit has undergone many changes throughout the history of the Oklahoma City Police Department. In the early days of the unit, officers directed traffic at assigned intersections. Later the unit was expanded, and was responsible for traffic enforcement and accident investigation throughout the city. Perhaps the most significant change in enforcement strategies came about in September of 1988, when traffic division personnel were reassigned to patrol divisions. The responsibility for traffic enforcement was added to the individual patrol officers. As a result of this restructuring, the traffic unit has evolved into a unit that focuses primarily on three areas of traffic investigation. These are fatality and serious injury collisions, hit and run collisions, and driving under the influence investigations. The unit completes follow-up investigations related to these incidents, presents charges to the District Attorney’s Office when applicable, participates in traffic enforcement, and conducts training related to traffic investigations.
The Signal 30 squad is utilized in the investigation of collisions involving a fatality or critical injury, when death appears imminent; and when available, personnel will respond to collisions involving police department equipment, and city vehicles/equipment when there is significant damage or serious injury involved. The Signal 30 unit may investigate other collisions as directed by their command.