West Metro SWAT Team

Wheat Ridge Police operates a joint special weapons and tactics team (SWAT) with the Lakewood Police Department to address unusual occurrences when special tactics and weapons are required.

These situations include: barricaded suspects; hostage situations; high-risk warrant services; VIP security; and, any other situation in which the special skills and ready availability of the SWAT team is needed.

The West Metro SWAT Team works in partnership with other SWAT teams in the county and is a member of the

Rocky Mountain Tactical Team Association and the National Tactical Officers Association.

There are three levels of SWAT Team response depending on the circumstance and number of officers needed.

  • A SWAT Patrol Team consists of SWAT personnel who are working patrol at the time of the incident;
  • A Situational Team response is requested when the patrol team staffing is not sufficient to safely resolve the situation, and
  • A full SWAT Team activation is appropriate for situations where the full array of tactical resources are likely to be required.

SWAT Team members are officers and supervisors who have received specialized training in negotiations, tactical response, less-lethal munitions and weapons

  • SWAT Negotiators are specially trained personnel that are selected from the ranks of both officers and civilian dispatchers.
  • SWAT Operators are sworn officers who are cross-trained in key aspects of tactical work such as entry techniques, perimeter duties and specialized munitions.
  • Tactical Medics are EMTs and paramedics trained to provide medical support during tactical situations.
History of SWAT in Wheat Ridge
In 1985, the Wheat Ridge Police Department formed a SWAT team to better address incidents requiring specialized police response. In 2012, the Wheat Ridge Police SWAT Team and the Lakewood Police SWAT Team combined to form the West Metro SWAT team. The consolidation of these two teams has enhanced services during unusual occurrences when special tactics and weapons are required.

The combined team offers: 
  • More efficient utilization of police services, personnel and equipment resources; 
  • More timely and effective response to calls for specialized police assistance; and,
  • Adequate staffing levels comprised of highly training police officers to resolve crisis and high-risk situations.