The Emergency Response Section (ERS) is part of the Specialized Response Division (SRD) and is composed of three units commanded by a lieutenant, as well as the Hostage/Crisis Team that is also commanded by a lieutenant. The mission of the Emergency Response Section is to save lives by providing the department with the capability to mitigate high-risk or armed resistance type incidents (SWAT) and the capability to mitigate explosive and other similar hazardous device incidents (EHDD). It is also the responsibility of the section to ensure all of the division’s specialized vehicles are maintained and ready for deployment 24 hours a day, seven days a week (SVU). The section will accomplish this through employment of special tactics by personnel with training and equipment not available to all members of the department.
The Tucson Police Department Explosive and Hazardous Devices Detail (EHDD) was established in 1970 to combat the drastic increase of radical and terrorist bombings in the United States. Out of necessity and the ever-increasing calls for service, the Bomb Squad has changed and evolved over the years.
The goal of EHDD is the preservation of lives and property for the citizens of Tucson and the State of Arizona. The detail has the responsibility of handling and storing explosives, and the rendering safe or disposing of found or recovered explosives and devices. The detail also conducts post-blast investigations, and upon request, the detail will assist county, state, or federal law enforcement agencies. Members of our unit responded and assisted with the post-blast investigation at both the Oklahoma City Federal Building and the World Trade Center bombings.
EHDD is currently made up of three full-time bomb technicians and two reserve techs. It has all the necessary, modern, and up-to-date safety and protective equipment and tools to perform our duties. In 1997 our unit also purchased an Andros 6A robot with all the necessary tools and attachments. It has proven to be a very valuable asset for not only the Bomb Squad but also for the S.W.A.T. Team.
The Explosives and Hazardous Devices Detail responds to over 150 calls for service per year. All of our Bomb Technicians attended and graduated the U.S. Army and F.B.I. Hazardous Devices School at the Redstone Arsenal. The technicians also attend advanced training schools and regular in-service training.
The Tucson Police Department's Explosives and Hazardous Devices Detail will continue to provide the community with trained personnel and equipment to safely handle and mitigate potential hazardous situations for our community and state.
The Tucson Police Department has an ongoing commitment to working with our schools by educating our children on safety.
The Tucson Police Department Hostage/Crisis Team seeks to further the mission of the Tucson Police Department by embracing the values of integrity, teamwork, and excellence. The Hostage/Crisis Team is utilized on an "as-needed" basis. The team responds to specific situations where human life is in danger, providing the department with personnel trained and equipped for the exclusive purpose of de-escalating and resolving crisis incidents without force. By intervening at this critical time we prevent and minimize loss of life and risk of injury to police personnel, citizens, and persons in crisis.
The Tucson Police Hostage/Crisis Team consists of one lieutenant, five sergeants, and 25 officers. A responding team works in concert with the Special Weapons And Tactics (S.W.A.T.) Unit to successfully minimize a conflict. Hostage/Crisis stages at a designated command post consisting of a specially-designed van containing equipment necessary to resolve the situation.
Questions or comments regarding the Hostage/Crisis Team may be directed to Lieutenant Jim Rizzi at 520-791-4608 Ext. 1014.