The Leesburg Police Department was the first law enforcement agency in Lake County to establish a fully functional Special Weapons and Tactics(S.W.A.T.) team. While serving a search warrant in a Leesburg apartment complex, now retired Criminal Investigations Division(C.I.D.) Captain Jerry Gehlbach was injured by gunfire while approaching the front door of the residence. This critical incident, and several others which occurred nationwide during the time, brought about the creation of the Leesburg Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics(S.W.A.T.) Team. From this beginning, Leesburg Special Weapons and Tactics(S.W.A.T.) responded to all critical incidents within the city, and served all high risk search warrants thereafter.
During normal patrol operations, Special Weapons and Tactics(S.W.A.T.) team members respond to countless calls for service, directly involving firearms and other dangerous weapons. The training, tactics, and equipment employed by these specially trained officers greatly diminish the likelihood of injury to a citizen, suspect, or officer. Having highly trained, equipped, and motivated officers patrolling the city at all times provides the community with a more efficient and effective police force. The Leesburg Special Weapons and Tactics(S.W.A.T.) team prides itself on the local, national, and international recognition it has received and earned during its tenure.
Special Weapons and Tactics(S.W.A.T.) Training
The Special Weapons and Tactics(S.W.A.T.) team conducts monthly in-service training, in addition to any outside agency training the operators may receive. The team maintains a highly skilled instructional cadre who also provide department level training for all officers within the agency. The instructors follow the most current trends and requirements available within the tactical community.
In addition to the “in-house” training program, the team also conducts training with neighboring jurisdictions to ensure cohesive relationships and continuity within our local operational community. Training may include, but is not limited to hostage rescue, waterborne operations, woodland operations, dynamic building entries, vehicle assaults, firearms training, rappelling, and physical fitness testing.