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Calgary Police Service

About our Tactical Unit

The role of the tactical unit is to respond to incidents using specialized tactics and ​resources to resolve high-risk events. Tactical unit members are required to commit to ongoing training and be on-call as required.  

What is the tactical unit? 
The tactical unit is a highly specialized area of the Service that responds to high-risk incidents involving weapons or beyond the scope of a standard patrol response. 

Is it the same as the SWAT team?
Yes, many different police agencies have SWAT Teams. The RCMP has ERT (Emergency Response Team) and the Toronto Police Service has ETF (Emergency Task Force). Although named differently, they all perform the same function. 

When is the tactical unit used?

  • in response to any high-risk incidents involving weapons
  • in the execution of search warrants for different investigative areas
  • assisting frontline patrol officers by adding to their resources

How often is the tactical unit called out?
Approximately 1,000 calls for service per year. 

What situations does the tactical unit typically train for?
The tactical unit trains for many different situations including warrant execution, hostage rescue, high angle operations, explosive forced entry, explosive disposal, etc.

Do you cross-train with other units in the U.S.?
Members from our unit have trained with the F.B.I., Canadian and American military, LAPD SWAT, Edmonton tactical unit, and numerous other agencies. Training with other agencies continually enhances our unit’s capabilities. 

What’s it like being in the tactical unit?
The tactical unit is a challenging and rewarding area of the Service to work in. 

Once a member is selected to join the unit, they are immediately immersed into an intense Basic Tactical Operators Course (BTOC) that lasts six months. During this time, members are challenged and receive instruction in more than 40 areas of specialty and are also evaluated on knowledge learned throughout their basic training. 

Once the BTOC is completed, the member is assigned to one of the teams and is subject to a six-month probationary period. During this time, the member must attend a certain number of high-risk calls and warrant executions. After the six-month probation period has been completed, the member is honoured with an operator insignia and a number, signifying their place within the unit. 


In an emergency always call 911

Non-emergency 403-266-1234