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Special Enforcement Detail

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Detail (SED) is a highly trained and specially equipped tactical team consisting of Deputies from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, Officers from the Atascadero Police Department, and Officers/ Paramedics from the CAL Fire Law Enforcement Division. The Atascadero Police Department currently allocates six officers to SED.

SED responds to critical incidents in the unincorporated areas of the county and in the city of Atascadero. The intent of SED deployment is to resolve critical incidents without an escalation of violence and to safely take suspects into custody. These critical incidents in recent years have included high-risk search warrants, high-risk arrest warrants, barricaded criminal suspects, active shooter response, and other unique situations that exceed the equipment and tactical capabilities of a standard patrol officer’s response.

Special Response vehicle at National Night Out event.

Selection for SED is a vigorous process; assessing each candidate’s physical fitness, firearm skills, tactical knowledge, discipline, and decision-making abilities. SED members are required to maintain these high standards throughout their tenure on the team. The team has approximately 240 hours of scheduled training annually covering multiple dynamic situations such as hostage situations, barricaded suspects, and planned operations. Officers also train in specialty roles on the teams, such as chemical agent deployment, breaching fortified buildings, precision rifle (Snipers), and technology operations.

Officer standing in front of a special response vehicle at an event.

APD Officers serving on SED bring much of the tactical knowledge acquired back to the department in the form of in-house training on tactics and skills that may apply to patrol officers. This training helps ensure that our patrol officers are prepared to respond to complex incidents, de-escalate, and stabilize the situation enough to determine if SED deployment is required.