|Submitted||July 2, 2015|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the California's Sunshine Amendment (Cal. Const. Art. I, § 3(b)), I hereby request the following records from the San Diego Police Department:
1. Copies of all incident reports, (sometimes called "after-action reports"), pertaining to all of your agency's S.W.A.T. team deployments for as far back in time as such records exist. If the tactical operations unit in your agency goes by another name besides “S.W.A.T.”, (e.g. “TAC” or “PPU”), then please provide the above information for that unit.
2. If your agency or legal counsel determines that these reports contain sensitive information, and therefore cannot be released to the public in their entirety, I instead request the following:
a) The dates, reasons, locations, and outcomes (i.e. whether the deployment resulted in the use of force; and whether any S.W.A.T. members were injured during the deployment) of all S.W.A.T. team deployments for as far back in time as such records exist.
b) If possible, please provide the above information in a spreadsheet in which each row contains the following information: the date of each deployment; the reason for the deployment (e.g. "hostage barricade"; "warrant service"); the location of the deployment (the city or zip code in which the deployment occurred); whether the S.W.A.T. team used force on any individuals during the deployment; whether any S.W.A.T. team members were injured during the deployment.
c) If only some of these data fields are available, (for example, if dates and reasons can be supplied, but locations and data on the use of force and injuries cannot), then please fulfill the portion of my request for which data is available rather than reject the entire request outright.
3. If providing the responsive materials to items 1) or 2) is not possible, please instead provide me with annual counts of S.W.A.T. team deployments in all years for which records are available.
4. If your agency's S.W.A.T. team works in partnership with other jurisdictions (i.e., multiple city or county agencies contribute members to a common S.W.A.T. team), please provide me with the names of those other agencies, noting which agency commands the unit.
5. Please inform me of the date of the creation of your agency’s S.W.A.T. unit. If the exact date is not available, please provide me with the month or year of the unit's creation.
If this request should have been sent to another city employee or department, please forward my request accordingly, or reply and inform me as to where the request should be sent.
This request is being made for academic, not commercial, purposes, and the information it generates will eventually be made available to the general public. As such, I request that any fees generated by this request be waived. In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request.
I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not. If paper documents are the only option, please mail them to me at:
235 Olson Way, #404
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.
Dept. of Political Science
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on July 2, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.
Thank you for your help.
Dear Mr. Mummolo,
This email is in response to your public records request.
Please find attached with this email a document responsive to your request. Other information related to SWAT incidents are exempt from disclosure as investigations or security procedures pursuant to Government Code section 6254(f). The information below could answer some of your questions.
History of the SWAT Team
The San Diego Police Department's SWAT Team was created soon after the Hub Jewelry and Pawnshop shootout of 1965. Civil unrest of the 1960's and 70's also influenced the department's decision to form a specialized team. Known as the Anti-Sniper Platoon, the first SDPD SWAT team was comprised of patrol officers with military experience. As the team developed, a number of tragedies, including officer fatalities, led to the creation of our Primary Response Team (PRT). The PRT concept has stood the test of time and still today, ensures the rapid response of SWAT resources any time of the day or night.
For many years, the McDonald's massacre of 1984 was the largest mass murder in the history of our country. After this tragedy, it was clear that a dedicated hostage rescue team was a vital component to the unit. The formation of our Special Response Team (SRT) soon followed. SRT is currently made up of veteran SWAT officers averaging over 20 years of law enforcement experience. Because of SRT's capabilities in Hostage Rescue, Barricaded Suspect, Counter-Terrorism, Dignitary Protection, Explosive Breaching, and numerous other disciplines, the SWAT Unit is ranked as a top-level team by California and National police standards.
The SWAT Team Today
The San Diego SWAT Team is made up of 80-100 San Diego police officers, both full and part-time. The full time team makes up the Special Response Team (SRT) which includes the hostage rescue team. The SRT is also responsible for leading training for the team and the entire police department on specialized topics.
The part time SWAT officers make up two teams, the snipers and the Primary Response Team (PRT). The snipers are comprised of sharpshooters and intelligence collectors highly trained in their specialization. The PRT is made up of the remaining members of the SWAT team. The PRT makes the San Diego SWAT team unique as it enables the quick deployment of a response team at any time of day. At any given time there are at least seven members of the SWAT team on patrol in the city. Because of this, these officers are ready to deploy quickly to a situation with the needed training and equipment.
SWAT team responsibilities include: confronting heavily armed criminals, hostage rescue, disaster events, mob and riot containment, underwater evidence recovery, special trauma and rescue, and law enforcement training.
The team operates with specialized equipment such as body armor, entry tools, armored vehicles, personal protective gear, surveillance equipment and advanced weapons.
Jericho Salvador, Officer
Chief's Office/CPRA Liaison
Thank you very much for this extremely helpful reply to my request. I appreciate the time and effort that went into this. As a courtesy, I was hoping someone could please clarify / respond to the following:
1. It appears SDPD has maintained its own SWAT team since its founding and is not formally a partner on a joint/regional SWAT team with other jurisdictions, either now or in the past. Is this correct?
2. If it exists, would it be possible to get the original .doc or .xls file containing the call out list? This will help to prevent transcription errors if I have to manually re-copy the data into a spreadsheet.
Thank you again.
Dept. of Political Science
1. Partly correct. SDPD will participate in mutual aid assistance- if requested.
2. None responsive.