Riverside Police Department

Special Operations

Captain Wagner Division Commander

The Special Operations Division Commander oversees the daily operations of the four Neighborhood Policing Centers, North, East, Central and West. Each NPC is tasked with managing resources and coordinating efforts to reduce crime in their assigned geographic areas, while addressing issues of neighborhood livability. Each NPC is managed by an Area Commander and staffed with a group of Sergeants, Detectives, School Resource Officers, Police Service Representatives and Problem Oriented Policing Officers. The collective staff strives to address emerging crime trends, maintain safe school campuses, create safe parks and neighborhoods, reduce retail crime and develop working partnerships with all of our Riverside communities.



The Special Operations Division includes the Downtown Entertainment District (DED) team, which focuses on working with downtown business operators, security, and others to make downtown a safe place to live, work and visit.


Special Operations also includes four officers assigned to the City's Public Safety and Engagement Team (PSET). This multi-departmental team focuses on homeless issues throughout the City. Those wanting to report non-criminal homeless issues can do so through the City's 3-1-1 system. Additional information cna be found at https://www.riversideca.gov/homelesssolutions/


Another resource in Special Operations is the Community Behavioral Health Assessment Team (CBAT). The CBAT team consists of two specially trained police officers and two County of Riverside clinical therapists who respond to calls for law enforcement service involving mental health issues in our community. The officers and therapists ride together in the same patrol car. At each call they handle, the therapist takes the lead role in evaluating the behavioral health issue while the officer provides the safety over-watch and law enforcement expertise.


A vital tool in the overall scheme of crime reduction is the tremendous work done by the division’s Crime Analysis Unit. The unit is comprised of three Analysts and one supervisor. Together they collect and evaluate crime data in an effort to provide all investigative units with pertinent information to identify and combat crime.



In addition to the personnel at the NPC’s, and included in the Special Operations Division are the following specialized units: METRO / SWAT, Air Support Unit, Hostage Negotiations Team, Snipers, and the Post-Release Accountability and Compliance Team. Together these specialized units serve as emergency responders to handle a myriad of situations where specially trained individuals are needed to deal with critical incidents, violent offenders, hostage and barricade situations and many others. From the sky, the Air Support unit continually supports all ground efforts and provides officers with critical information by which to safely respond to critical events and hot pursuits of suspects and vehicles. These services are non-stop and the specialized units are ever at the ready 365 days a year in an effort to provide for a safer city.


Special Units within the Special Operations Division Include:

  • Air Support Unit
  • Auto Theft Detectives
  • Burglary Detectives
  • CBAT - Community Behavioral Health Assessment Team
  • Crime Analysis Unit
  • Hostage Negotiations Team
  • Neighborhood Policing Centers
  • PACT - Post-Release Accountability & Compliance Team
  • Persons Detectives
  • PSET – Public Safety Engagement Team
  • School Resource Officers
  • SWAT and Sniper Team


Special Weapons And Tactics (S.W.A.T.)

There are 36 members on the Special Weapons and Tactical (SWAT) Team. Eight (8) officers and one sergeant are assigned to the full-time Multi-Enforcement Tactical Response Operations (METRO) Team. Sixteen officers and two sergeants are assigned as collateral duty officers.
The SWAT Team has a variety of weapons available for use, but the primary weapon is a Colt Commando rifle and the 1911 .45 Caliber handgun as the secondary weapon. The sniper team (eight officers and one sergeant) uses the Remington 700 bolt action rifles as their primary weapon and a Glock 22 pistol as their secondary weapon.
The Department's primary concern is public safety during any SWAT incident. Homes and other buildings are sometimes evacuated to ensure the suspect(s) do not harm innocent bystanders.
The hoods are made of Nomex, which is a material that is fire resistant. This protects SWAT officers from the chemical, fire or glass hazards they may encounter.
The goal in any SWAT incident is the safe and legal resolution of the incident. To achieve this, the officers follow a set of procedures that the department believes will produce the safest outcome. This includes negotiating with suspects, evacuating surrounding homes, obtaining warrants and going as far as necessary to ensure the safety of the public, the officers, and the suspect.