SWAT Team Commander - Lt. Christopher Zelko
Assistant SWAT Team Commander - Police Officer Brian Williams
Crisis Negotiation Team Leader - Inv. Brooks Shaw
The Elmira Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team consists of 18 members from the Elmira Police Department. The team is led by the Team Commander and assisted by the Assistant Team Commander and also comprised of 3 Team Leaders who have various roles in team operations.
The EPD SWAT Team is a New York State Municipal Police Training Council certified team. The team meets, and far exceeds, all requirements as set forth by the NYS MPTC regarding Tactical Team Operations.
The EPD SWAT Team is responsible for conducting high risk search warrants as brought forth by the EPD Detective Bureau or Drug Enforcement Unit or other agencies whose investigations are focused in the City of Elmira, barricade resolutions, high risk vehicle stops, hostage rescue, dignitary protection, active assailant situations and any other situations that require specialized training, equipment and extra personnel.
The EPD SWAT Team has strict firearms and physical fitness entry-level requirements. All operators must pass the Cooper Standard Physical Fitness test at the 70th percentile for their respective age and sex for consideration. Once appointed, all operators must complete a 160 hour Basic SWAT Operator Course prior to becoming operational. The team itself trains at a minimum of 20 days per calendar year and all operators are required to maintain weapon proficiency and are subject to physical fitness tests bi-annually.
The SWAT Team also includes members who are trained as selective marksmen. These operators are overseen by one of the Team Leaders and participate in separate monthly trainings.
It is the policy of the Elmira Police Department to maintain, train, and equip a Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT). The role of the CNT is to attempt, through negotiation, to achieve non-violent resolution to life-threatening situations. The CNT also assists the SWAT Team and other units of the Department with critical incidents and other situations for which their training and expertise may be helpful.