-Hostage taking scenarios
-High-risk warrant service
The SWAT team uses different uniforms depending on the mission, and climate. SWAT members are cross trained in several weapons platforms including fully automatic rifles and submachine guns, shotguns, and pistols. SWAT recently upgraded their ballistic armor to better deal with the dangers faced in the tactical arena.
SWAT additionally utilizes several types of vehicles including armored vehicles, transport trucks, helicopters, and any other type vehicle necessary.
S.W.A.T. has been involved in many situations over the years.
Listed below are a few summaries of some responses:
On 06-07-2000 Deputies responded to a residence on Honey Run Rd. A man reported that his roommate was acting strangely, and wanted him evaluated. As the Deputies stood in front of the residence, speaking with the man who called, they saw the roommate come to the front window with a firearm. The Deputies took cover behind a vehicle, and a large oak tree.
The suspect fired over one hundred rounds at the Deputies and their patrol vehicles. The Chico Police SAFE team was the first tactical team to respond. The SAFE team was able to evacuate the Deputies by utilizing Butte County's armored car driven by SWAT Assistant Team Leader Greg Rutherford. The suspect fired several rounds at the SAFE team, and at the armored car. The suspect's rounds struck the armored car's ballistic windshield directly in front of the driver's seat where Rutherford was sitting.
After several hours the SWAT team moved in to introduce large amounts of tear gas into the residence. Soon after the SWAT team injected tear gas into the suspect's residence, the suspect surrendered and was taken into custody. The suspect was charged with several felony crimes including the attempted murder of the Deputies who responded.
On 07-26-01, Deputy Bill Hunter was called to the Inskip area to answer a disturbance call. Lieutenant Larry Estes was in the Paradise area, and volunteered to back Deputy Hunter. Both Deputy Hunter and Lieutenant Estes entered a small cabin that the suspect allegedly lived in. Dispatchers were unable to raise either Deputy Hunter or Lieutenant Estes on the radio, and the SWAT team was activated.
The SWAT team was flown to the scene by helicopter due to the long response time. Upon arrival, the SWAT team was told that the suspect and his girlfriend may be in the residence, and that they were most likely armed with an AK-47. Team members injected tear gas into the cabin, and entered the cabin hoping to rescue their friends.
Upon entry, SWAT members found Deputy Hunter, Lieutenant Estes, and the suspect deceased. Deputy Hunter and Lieutenant Estes had entered the cabin and were immediately ambushed by the suspect. Deputy Hunter died immediately, while Lieutenant Estes stood his ground and exchanged gunfire with the suspect. Both the suspect, and Lieutenant Estes died soon thereafter from their injuries.
On 05-31-02 a Willows resident fired at CHP officers from an SKS assault rifle while standing on the balcony of his apartment. Chico Police Department SAFE team initially responded, surrounding the apartment and evacuating innocent bystanders. SAFE team negotiators attempted to make contact with the suspect without success.
SWAT was requested to assist, and responded soon thereafter. SAFE team members distracted the suspect while SWAT members injected tear gas into the suspect's residence. The suspect was pressed against the window within a minute of the gas deployment. The suspect surrendered and was taken into custody without further incident.
On 09-19-03, SWAT assisted the Butte County Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) in securing a Mexican National Drug Cartel marijuana garden in the Feather Falls area. SEU had previously seen armed cultivators tending the garden.
Early in the morning, a contingent of SWAT members heard voices on the trail ahead. Three marijuana cultivators came into view, and Deputies gave orders in both Spanish and English for them to surrender. One suspect was immediately taken into custody.
A second suspect turned to fire on the SWAT members with an AK-47 assault rifle. Three SIRT members reacted to the threat and shot the suspect. The third suspect ran behind the suspect with the AK-47 and was hit by gunfire. Both the second and third suspects were pronounced dead at the scene. All three suspects were armed, with 2 AK-47’s and a handgun being recovered.
The marijuana garden yielded over eleven thousand mature marijuana plants, with an estimated street value of $22 million dollars.
- Brother in Arms -
SWAT Team Member
Our website is dedicated to the memory of our friends who have given their lives while attempting to protect our community: fellow SWAT member Randy Jennings, Deputy Bill Hunter, and Lieutenant Larry Estes. We will always remember their sacrifice, and will strive to uphold the work that they passed on to us.