The San Jose Police Department Special Operations Division consists of a number of proactive units that support the Bureau of Investigations and the Bureau of Field Operations. Officers who work within this division are trained in areas such as canine deployment, dignitary protection, overt and covert gang and narcotics investigations, tactical responses to critical incidents and bomb sweeps and investigations, among others.
Assignments carried out by the SJPD Special Operations Division fall outside of the realm of normal patrol duties and require high levels of discipline. These officers receive additional, specialized training in order to develop advanced precision and expertise.
There are eight units that make up the SJPD Special Operations Division.
Traffic Enforcement Unit– The Traffic Enforcement Unit is charged with enforcing traffic laws in order to reduce automobile accidents and injuries.
The Honor Guard Ceremonial Unit– The Honor Guard Ceremonial Unit assists with conducting flag raising ceremonies at special events. This unit consists of one lieutenant, two sergeants and 20 sworn officers.
Bomb Squad- Bomb Squad officers have all graduated from the Hazardous Devices School and have Bomb Technician certifications. They are also certified in hazardous materials, chemical and biological weapons, explosive demolition and nuclear weapons.
Canine Unit- Canine unit dogs and their handlers help the department search for fleeing felons, provide assistance to patrol officers, assist with community demonstrations and help conduct building searches.
Horse Mounted and Parks Unit- The Horse Mounted and Parks Unit patrol the downtown area and the areas adjacent to the City’s parks and rivers on horseback. They also assist the Field Operations Bureau for special events, such as rallies and parades.
Merge Unit- The Mobile Emergency Response Group and Equipment (MERGE) Unit is responsible for providing SWAT-like assistance to the department. Officers who are assigned to MERGE have been highly trained in a variety of weaponry.
Air Support Unit– The Air Support Unit provides aerial services for units within the SJPD. They also schedule and perform various public relations demonstrations and appearances.