List of special law enforcement units

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This is a list of active Police Tactical Units.


Police Tactical Units are part of a civilian or gendarmerie-type[1] police force tasked with resolving high risk/critical incidents, including:

  • high risk armed offender/suspect searches/apprehensions including arrest warrant[2]
  • high risk search warrants involving an armed/dangerous offender/suspect[2]
  • siege/barricade incidents involving an armed offender/suspect[2]
  • domestic counter-terrorism incidents such as hostage rescue and/or armed intervention (including units that may be granted authority for overseas operations)[2]

In the United States, most police tactical units are known by the generic term of Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team.[3] In Australia, police tactical units are formally known as a police tactical group.[4] The European Union uses the term Special Intervention Unit to define national counter terrorist police tactical units.[5]

For military special forces / special operations units see List of military special forces units.

Afghanistan Afghanistan[edit]

Interior Ministry

Albania Albania[edit]

Algeria Algeria[edit]

Algerian police

Argentina Argentina[edit]

Argentine Federal Police
Argentine National Gendarmerie
  • Equipo Antiterrorista (Anti-Terrorist Team)
  • Scorpion Group - Formerly the Escuadrón Especial de la Gendarmería Nacional
  • Sección Operaciones Especiales de Monte de Gendarmería Nacional "Groupe Monte" (National Gendarmarie Jungle Special Operations Section)
  • Unidad Especial de Lucha Contra Narcotraficante (UELCON)
Local and other units

Australia Australia[edit]

Police Tactical Group (PTG)

Australian Federal Police
New South Wales Police Force
Northern Territory Police
Queensland Police
South Australia Police
Tasmania Police
Victoria Police
Western Australia Police
New South Wales Corrective Services
Western Australia Department of Corrective Services

Austria Austria[edit]

Federal Ministry of the Interior
  • EKO Cobra (Special operations and counterterrorism unit)
Justizwache (Penitentiary police)

Azerbaijan Azerbaijan[edit]

Ministry of Internal Affairs

The Bahamas Bahamas[edit]

Royal Bahamas Police Force
  • Security and Intelligence Branch

Bangladesh Bangladesh[edit]

Bangladesh Police

Belgium Belgium[edit]

Federal police

Bolivia Bolivia[edit]

Bolivian Police Force
  • Unidad Tactica de Operaciones Policiales - UTOP (Tactical Response Unit)
  • Fuerza especial de lucha contra el narcotráfico- FELCN (Bolivian anti-narcotics force)
  • Fuerza especial de lucha contra el crimen- FELCC (Bolivian anti-criminal force)

Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Bosnian Police Force
Other units

Bulgaria Bulgaria[edit]

Bulgarian Gendarmerie
  • Counter-Terrorist Squads

Brazil Brazil[edit]

Federal Police Department
Polícia Militar
Policia Civil

Brunei Brunei[edit]

Royal Brunei Police Force
  • Special Operations Squad (SOS) - (Malay: Pasukan Gerak Khas (PGK))

Canada Canada[edit]

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Provincial, local and other units

Chile Chile[edit]

China China[edit]

Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China
People's Armed Police (CAPF)

Colombia Colombia[edit]

National Police of Colombia

Croatia Croatia[edit]

Special Police

Czech Republic Czech Republic[edit]

Police of the Czech Republic
  • Útvar Rychlého Nasazení (URNa - Rapid Reaction Unit, national police CT unit)
  • Krajská Zásahová Jednotka (KZJ - Regional Intervention Unit, 8 regional police intervention units)
Celní správa České republiky
  • Skupina Operativního Nasazení (SON - Operative Deployment Unit, national customs intervention unit)

Denmark Denmark[edit]

Københavns Politi (Copenhagen Police Department)

Ecuador Ecuador[edit]

  • GEO - Grupo Especial de Operaciones (Ecuadorian Army)
  • GOE - Grupo de Operaciones Especiales (Police)
  • GIR - Grupo de Intervención y Rescate (Police)

Egypt Egypt[edit]

Egyptian National Police
  • Unit 333 (Special unit of the interior ministry)

Estonia Estonia[edit]

Estonian Police
  • K-Commando (Special unit of the Central Crime Police)

Fiji Fiji[edit]

  • Police Tactical Response Unit (disbanded in 2007)[33]
  • Police National Operations Support Unit[34][35]

Finland Finland[edit]

Police of Finland
Finnish Border Guard

France France[edit]

National Police

In an emergency situation, BRI-BAC and RAID can also form a task-force called FIPN (Force d'intervention de la Police nationale), under the command of the RAID commander.

  • Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN; "National Gendarmerie Intervention Group"). National unit based in Versailles-Satory, near Paris.
  • Antennes du GIGN (AGIGN): 13 Regional units based in metropolitan and overseas France and performing high risk arrests, personal protection and emergency counter-terrorism missions under operational control of GIGN.
  • Pelotons spécialisé de protection de la Gendarmerie (PSPG). 20 units primarily dedicated to protecting the French civilian nuclear sites. Can be engaged as tactical units in a secondary role.
Helicopter support for GIGN and RAID
  • Groupe interarmées d'hélicoptères (GIH). A joint army/air force helicopter unit belonging to COS (Commandement des opérations spéciales : Special operations command). Its primary role is support of GIGN and RAID.

Georgia (country) Georgia[edit]

Germany Germany[edit]


Greece Greece[edit]

Greek Police
Greek Coast Guard
  • Special Operations Teams (OEA)

Hong Kong Hong Kong[edit]

Hong Kong Police Force

Hungary Hungary[edit]

Iceland Iceland[edit]

Icelandic Police
  • Víkingasveitin (Viking Squad / Special Operations Unit of the National Commissioner)

India India[edit]

Law Enforcement in India
Protective Service Unit

Indonesia Indonesia[edit]

Indonesian National Police (POLRI)

Directorate General of Customs and Excise (Indonesia) (Bea Cukai)

  • "Customs Tactical Unit" also known as "CTU" is the Special unit of the Indonesian Customs, primarily deals with emergency situations in international airports of Indonesia in regards of customs enforcement and smuggling cases.

Iran Iran[edit]

Iranian Police

Iraq Iraq[edit]

Iraqi Police

Republic of Ireland Ireland[edit]

Garda Síochána (National Police)

Israel Israel[edit]

Israel Police
Israel Border Police
Israel Prison Service
  • Nachshon
  • Dror
  • Masada

Italy Italy[edit]

Carabinieri (National Gendarmerie)
Polizia di Stato (National Civil Police)
Italian Penitentiary Police
Italian Finance Security

Japan Japan[edit]

Security Bureaus of Prefectural Police Departments (supervised by the National Police Agency Security Bureau)
Criminal Investigation Bureaus of Prefectural Police Departments
  • Special Investigation Team (SIT) - Akita/Iwate/Ibaraki/Miyagi/Fukushima/Tochigi/Tokyo/Shizuoka/Aichi/Mie/Fukuoka/Nagasaki[43]
  • Martial Arts Attack Team (MAAT) - Osaka[43]
  • Assault Response Team - Chiba[43]
  • Special Tactical Section - Saitama[43]
  • Special Investigation Section - Kanagawa[43]
  • Technical Special Team - Aomori[43]
  • Hostage Rescue Team - Hiroshima
Japan Coast Guard
  • Special Security Team (SST) - national-level maritime counter-terrorism teams
  • Special Riot Squads (特別警備隊, Tokubetsu-keibi-tai, "Tokkei-tai") - regional-level riot control and special reaction teams

Jordan Jordan[edit]

General Directorate Of Gendarmerie
  • police special operation Unit 14\SWAT (Special Intervention & Counter terrorism)
  • GID Special Unit

Kuwait Kuwait[edit]

  • Kuwait Special Force (Al Quwat Al Khasa)
  • Kuwait Swat team

Latvia Latvia[edit]

State Police of Latvia
  • Special Task Battalion ALFA (riot squad)
  • OMEGA (counter-terrorism and special operations unit)

Lebanon Lebanon[edit]

Lebanese Police Force
  • Fuhud (Panthers)(Special Police Unit)
  • internal intelligence (fast reaction force)
  • general security (special unit)

Liechtenstein Liechtenstein[edit]


Lithuania Lithuania[edit]

  • ARAS - Lithuanian Police Anti-terrorist Operations Unit (Lithuanian: Lietuvos policijos antiteroristinių operacijų rinktinė)
  • VSAT SPB (Lithuanian State Border Guard Service Rapid Reaction Squads)
  • AITVARAS - Lithuanian Special Operations Force (LITHSOF) (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Specialiųjų Operacijų Pajėgos)

Luxembourg Luxembourg[edit]

Grand Ducal Police

Macau Macau[edit]

Public Security Police Force of Macau
  • Police Tactical Intervention Unit (UTIP)
    • Special Operation Group (GOE)

Republic of Macedonia Republic of Macedonia[edit]

Macedonian Police
  • Special Task Unit - "Tigers" (Единица за Специјални Задачи - Тигар)
  • Unit for fast deployment (Единица за Брзо Распоредување)

Malaysia Malaysia[edit]

Royal Malaysia Police (Polis Diraja Malaysia)
Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (Agensi Penguatkuasaan Maritim Malaysia)
Malaysian Prison Department (Jabatan Penjara Malaysia)
Malaysian Immigration Department (Jabatan Immigresen Malaysia)
Royal Malaysian Customs Department (Jabatan Kastam Diraja Malaysia)

Malta Malta[edit]

Maltese Police
  • Special Mobile Unit till 1987
  • Special Assignments Group till June 2013
  • Rapid Intervention Unit (RIU) since July 1, 2013

Mexico Mexico[edit]

Policia Federal
Procuraduria General de la Republica PGR

Mongolia Mongolia[edit]

Mongolian Police
  • Special Response Unit
  • SWAT

Morocco Morocco[edit]

Namibia Namibia[edit]

Namibian Police Force

Netherlands Netherlands[edit]

Nationale Politie (National Police)
  • Dienst Speciale Interventies (Special Intervention Service) - Collection of joint, on-call or part-time basis SWAT teams recruiting from police, military police and army (but falling under civilian police command). The Service consists out of four Units:
    • Aanhoudings- en Ondersteuningsteams (Arrest and Support Teams) - High-risk arrests, protection of undercover police officers and secret agents and supporting investigation work.
    • Unit Interventie (Intervention Unit) - Small-scale high-risk operations, deployed in situations involving heavy firearms, explosions, hazardous substances and/or suicidal gunmen.
    • Unit Interventie Mariniers (Marines Intervention Unit), also known by the name of its main component, MARSOF - Large-scale counter-terrorism operations. Capable of land, air, amphibious, marine and submarine operations and responsible for operations in large aircraft and buildings and installations at sea. Called in when the Unit Interventie can no longer handle the situation, which makes it the ultimate special law enforcement unit of the Netherlands.
    • Unit Expertise en Operationele Ondersteuning (Expertise and Operational Support Unit) - Sniper teams. Police and army each provide one half of the snipers.
  • Dienst Bewaken & Beveiliging (Guard & Security Service) - VIP security, most notably the royal family, politicians and diplomats.
  • Mobiele Eenheid (ME) (Mobile Unit) - Part-time non-lethal riot police. When not deployed, officers serve as regular police.
Koninklijke Marechaussee (Royal Military Constabulary)
  • Brigade Speciale Beveiligingsopdrachten (Special Protection Tasks Brigade) - Very high-risk arrests, infiltration and VIP security. Unlike the secret agents of the AIVD, its undercover police officers are allowed to carry weapons.
  • Bijstandseenheid (Support Unit) - Various SWAT duties and, most notably, serving as heavy riot police and internal security force cleared to use lethal force if necessary to restore public order.
Dienst Justitionele Inrichtingen (Custodial Institutions Agency)
  • Intern Bijstand Team (Internal Support Team) - Low-risk prison riot squads and backup teams for regular prison officers, available around the clock at every institution
  • Dienst Vervoer en Ondersteuning (Transport and Support Service) - In addition to the offices and training facilities of the Agency, also consists out of:
    • Landelijke Bijzondere Bijstandseenheid (National Special Support Unit) - High-risk prison riot, shakedown and evacuation unit. Also includes canine units and escorts for when prisoners have to go to hospitals.
    • Bijzonder Ondersteunings Team (BOT) (Special Support Team) - High-risk prisoner transport.

New Zealand New Zealand[edit]

New Zealand Police

Nicaragua Nicaragua[edit]

Policia Nacional-DOEP
  • Tácticas y Armas Policiales de Intervención y Rescate (TAPIR)
  • Departamento de Intervención Rápida (GIR)

Nigeria Nigeria[edit]

Nigeria Police Force
  • Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), counter terrorist
  • Rapid Response Squad (RRS),
  • Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),
  • Criminals Investigation Department (CID),
  • Special Anti-Cultism Squad (SACS),
  • Anti-Riot Squad,
  • Nigeria Police Mobile Force.
  • Anti-Bomb Squad.
State Security Service (Nigeria)
  • Department of State Security (DSS), VIP protection/counter terrorist

Norway Norway[edit]

Norwegian Police Service

Pakistan Pakistan[edit]

Ministry of Interior & Pakistan Army
Ministry of Narcotics Control & Pakistan Army
Ministry of Defence & Pakistan Navy
Punjab Police
Sindh Police
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police
Balochistan Police & Pakistan Army

National Highways & Motorway Police

Airports Security Force

Panama Panama[edit]

Peru Peru[edit]

National Police of Peru

  • Subunidad de Acciones Tácticas (SUAT)

Philippines Philippines[edit]

Philippine National Police
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Special Enforcement Service
Presidential Security Group
  • Special Reaction Unit (SRU)
Bureau of Jail Management and Penology
  • Special Tactics and Response Team
National Bureau of Investigation
  • Special Action Unit

Poland Poland[edit]

  • BOA
  • Centralne Biuro Śledcze Policji (CBŚP)
  • SPAP
Straż Graniczna (SG)

Portugal Portugal[edit]

Public Security Police

  • Special Police Unit (UEP)
    • Intervention Corps - riot control unit
    • Special Operations Group (GOE) - special tactical assault unit
    • Personal Security Corps - VIP protection unit
    • Center for Explosive Disposal and Subsoil Security (CIESS) - EOD and subsoil security unit
    • Cino-technical Operational Group - K9 unit

National Republican Guard

  • Intervention Unit (UI)
    • Special Operations Intervention Group (GIOE) - special tactical assault unit
    • Public Order Intervention Group (GIOP) - riot control unit
    • Protection and Rescue Intervention Group (GIPS) - Rescue and firefighting unit
    • Center for Explosive Disposal and Subsoil Security (CIESS) - EOD and subsoil security unit
    • Cino-technical Intervention Group (GIC) - K9 unit

Prison Guard

  • Cino-technical Operational Group - K9 unit
  • Intervention and Prison Security Group (GISP) - tactical intervention unit

Maritime Police

  • Tactical Actions Group (GAT) - special boarding unit
  • Forensic Diving Group - underwater forensic investigation unit

Romania Romania[edit]

Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform
Romanian Gendarmerie
Romanian Secret Service (SRI)
  • BAT - Anti-Terror Brigade

Russia Russia[edit]

Foreign Intelligence Service[46][46][47][48]
  • Special Operations Department of Directorate Z (Zaslon)
National Guard of Russia[49]

Ministry of Justice

  • Dozens of various independent detachments, such as OSN Saturn.

Federal Penitentiary Service OSNs:

Center of Special Operations of the FSB[64]

Singapore Singapore[edit]

Singapore Police Force
Singapore Prison Service
Police Coast Guard

Slovenia Slovenia[edit]

Serbia Serbia[edit]

Slovakia Slovakia[edit]

  • Útvar Osobitného Určenia (UOU) - Special Designation Unit of the Presidium of Police
  • Pohotovostný Policajný Útvar (PPÚ)
  • Národná kriminálna agentúra - Zásahová skupina (ZS NAKA PPZ) - National Crime Agency of Presidium of the Police Force - Intervention unit
  • Úrad pre Ochranu Ústavných Činiteľov a Diplomatických Misií - Odbor špeciálnej ochrany (ÚOÚČ OŠO) - Security of the state, state officials and foreign dignitaries - Special protection unit
  • Jednotka služobných zákrokov Colného krimináleho úradu Colnej správy SR (JSZ CKÚ ) - Customs Criminal Office’s Intervention Unit
  • Zásahová jednotka Mobilnej zásahovej skupiny RHP Sobrance - Hraničná polícia - Intervention unit of the Border Police
  • Zásahové jednotky Špeciálnych zásahových skupín Zboru väzenskej a justičnej stráže - Intervention units of the Special intervention groups of the Department of Corrective Services

South Africa South Africa[edit]

South African Police Service
  • Special Task Force (STF)
  • National Intervention Unit (NIU) - This Unit of the South African Police Service respond to incidents of medium to high risk.
  • Tactical Response Team (TRT) a part of the South African Police Response services, responding to medium to high risk situations. Tasked with follow up operations, battle craft rural and urban operations, support at ports of entry, cluster operations, land borne operations and other situations; all members of this unit are fully fledged operators.
  • South African Police Service Riot Squad/Anti-Riot Squad/ Public Order Policing/Internal Stability Unit (POP/ISU)

South Korea South Korea[edit]

National Police Agency
  • Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT)
    • Seoul Metropolitan Police SWAT Team (Unit 868)
    • Incheon Metropolitan Police SWAT Team (Unit 313)
    • Busan Metropolitan Police SWAT Team (Unit 431)
    • Daegu Metropolitan Police SWAT Team
    • Jeju Metropolitan Police SWAT Team
Republic of Korea Coast Guard
  • Sea Special Assault Team (SSAT)
    • Busan SSAT Team
    • Incheon SSAT Team

Spain Spain[edit]

Guardia Civil
National Police Corps of Spain
  • Grupos Operativos Especiales de Seguridad (GOES) - SWAT Team.
  • Grupo Especial de Operaciones (GEO)
  • Unidad de Intervención Policial - UIP.
  • Unidad de Prevención y Reacción - UPR.
Mossos d'Esquadra
  • Grup Especial d'Intervenció (GEI)
  • ARRO
Policía Foral
  • Grupo de Intervención Especial - GIE

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka[edit]

Sri Lanka Police Service

Sweden Sweden[edit]

Swedish Police Authority

Switzerland Switzerland[edit]

Federal Office of Police (FedPol)
Cantonal (states) police 


Taiwan Taiwan[edit]

National Police Agency (NPA)
  • Air Police Corps
  • Special Police Corps
    • Wei-An Special Services Commando
  • Thunder Squad (Special Weapons And Tactics Police Counter-Terrorism unit)
Coast Guard Administration
  • Special Task Unit

Thailand Thailand[edit]

Royal Thai Police

Turkey Turkey[edit]

General Directorate of Security
Turkish Gendarmerie

United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates[edit]

Dubai Police Force

United Kingdom United Kingdom[edit]

Firearms unit (with SFO or CTSFO)
Territorial police forces

United States United States[edit]

Federal Agencies
Independent Federal Agencies
State agencies
Local/County Agencies

The police departments of many counties and most major cities have special police units.

Denver Police Department - Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Team

Ukraine Ukraine[edit]

National Police of Ukraine

Special Tasks Patrol Police are the volunteer corps law enforcement units, part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

National Guard of Ukraine

Vietnam Vietnam[edit]

  • Vietnam People's Public Security
    • Vietnam Mobile Police (Cảnh sát cơ động) - Counter-terrorist and riot police
  • Bộ Tư lệnh Cảnh sát Cơ động K20 - K20 Police Headquarters
    • Vietnam Rapid Response Police (Cảnh sát Phản ứng nhanh), also known as CS113 - Counter criminal police
    • Vietnam Special Criminal Investigation Police (Cảnh sát Hình sự Đặc nhiệm) - Investigation of special criminal cases[68]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a civilian police force with military status reporting to the Ministry of Defense and/or Minister for Interior.
  2. ^ a b c d "Tactical Response and Operations Standard for Law Enforcement Agencies" (PDF). National Tactical Officers Association. September 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  3. ^ Alvaro, Sam. Tactical law enforcement in Canada; an exploratory survey of Canadian police agencies (PDF) (Thesis). Carleton University. ISBN 9780612484191. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
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  35. ^ New life for elite police unit
  36. ^ a b c "Structure of the Ministry". Ministry of Internal Affairs.
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  47. ^ "Zaslon SVR RF operatives foto".
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  51. ^ "Отдел специального назначения "Россы" ГУФСИН России по Свердловской области отпраздновал 21-ю годовщину со дня создания". The Federal Penal Service. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
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  53. ^ "Офицеры ОСН АЙСБЕРГ - Официальный сайт Филиала "Красная Поляна" Южного межрегионального учебного центра ФСИН России". Retrieved 16 October 2014.
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  59. ^ ru:Ястреб (спецподразделение)
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