S.W.A.T. Team


SWAT Team Commander - Sgt. Christopher Zelko                                  

Assistant SWAT Team Commander - Police Officer Brian Williams                       

Crisis Negotiation Team Leader -Sergeant Yuri Charlanow


The Elmira Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team consists of 15 Officers from the Elmira Police Department.

The Team has responsibilities that include but are not limited to executing search warrants for the Chemung County Drug Enforcement Unit, serving any other high risk warrants that are determined to be beyond the capabilities of patrol officers, assisting with Hostage/Barricade situations, and Dignitary Protection details.

The SWAT Team has strict firearms and physical fitness entry-level requirements. Once appointed, each member of the Team must continue to meet very strict quarterly firearms qualifications and biannual physical fitness qualifications. The SWAT Team trains an average of 20 days per year.

Entry level requirements for SWAT Team members include a minimum of 3 years as a police officer, passing stringent physical fitness and firearms qualification standards, and a probationary period for new appointees where they must demonstrate proficiency in tactical maneuvers.

The SWAT Team is supervised by a Team Commander and Assistant Team Commander. It has four Selective Marksmen, and one Tactical-EMS-trained Emergency Medical Technician. Other members of the Team are assigned a variety of duties. Each member is personally committed to the Team and their profession.

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.