The Special Weapons and Tactics Team’s mission is to minimize the risk of serious injury to officers and citizens during a crisis situation. A specialized unit of officers are trained and equipped to deal with such events. The Special Weapons and Tactics Team (S.W.A.T.) is responsible for responding to and resolving critical incidents and unusual occurrences involving extreme violence or the risk of such.
The Kilgore Police Department maintains two positions within the S.W.A.T. Team. The S.W.A.T. Team is a multi-agency team consisting of 20 officers, including officers from the Gregg County Sheriff's Office, Longview Police Department and paramedics from the Longview Fire Department. The Longview Police Department manages the team. The S.W.A.T. Team is a part-time assignment, whose members have other assignments within their respective departments. The S.W.A.T. Team trains two days each month. Investigator Joey Chitwood and Officer Amos Owings are currently assigned to S.W.A.T.
Several of the team’s members are deployed as a “First Responders.” These officers have the important task of responding to violent crimes to mitigate a violent episode in the early stages, thus saving lives.
The S.W.A.T. Team assists the County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit in the execution of high-risk search warrants. The team also responds to barricaded persons calls and assists the DEA, FBI, ICE, and the US Marshalls Office with arrest warrants. Additionally, the team has also been utilized to augment the Secret Service Vice-Presidential protection detail during Vice President Cheney’s visit to Longview in March of 2004.