A strong defense.
The mission of the Los Angeles Police Department is to safeguard the lives and property of the people they serve, to reduce the incidence and fear of crime, and the enhance public safety while working with the diverse communities of Los Angeles to improve their quality of life. The Department’s goal is to do so with honor and integrity, while conducting themselves with the highest ethical standards to maintain public confidence.
The highly skilled and expertly trained officers of the LAPD possess the knowledge, ability, and experience necessary to identify and minimize threats to public safety. We invite you to learn more about some of the Department’s Specialized Units.
Air Support Division
The LAPD Air Support Division (ASD) is the largest municipal airborne law enforcement operation in the world and boasts the nation’s biggest rooftop heliport. By delivering rapid response air assessments and tactical insights to patrol officers and specialized units on the ground, the ASD serves as an invaluable resource for real-time information that directly improves public and officer safety, aids in the capture of criminal suspects and maximizes incident containment.
Animal Cruelty Task Force
The LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force (ACTF) works closely with the Department of Animal Services, the Office of the City Attorney, and the public at large to protect animal victims and prevent the spread or escalation of this violence into the community. The ACTF’s mission is to break the connection between animal abuse and human violence by thoroughly investigating and prosecuting cases of abuse, cruelty, hoarding, neglect and blood sports like dog or cock fighting.
Art Theft Detail
The LAPD Art Theft Detail is the only full-time municipal law enforcement unit in the country devoted to the investigation of art crimes. Working closely with collectors, dealers, galleries, museums, and publications, these detectives handle diverse cases ranging from theft and robbery to fraud and forgery. The Art Theft Detail has citywide jurisdiction and works diligently to protect the artistic, cultural, and historical heritage of Los Angeles, in addition to assisting other national and international law enforcement agencies. Since 1993, the Art Theft Detail has recovered more than $100 million in stolen art.
The LAPD Bomb Squad responds to all actual and suspected explosive-related incidents to ensure the safety of citizens, first-responders, and law enforcement personnel. This elite team of expertly trained technicians is responsible for the handling, transportation, and rendering safe of all explosive items citywide. The Bomb Squad also maintains a cutting-edge research and development program devoted to discovering new tools, equipment, and safety procedures that are now used by civilian and military bomb squads around the globe.
Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau (CTSOB)
The LAPD’s Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau is comprised of the Major Crimes Division and Emergency Services Division. Together, their mission is: to prevent terrorism by effectively sharing information aimed at disrupting terrorist’s operational capability and addressing the underlying causes associated with the motivational component; to protect the public and critical infrastructure by leveraging private sector resources and hardening targets; to pursue terrorists and those criminal enterprises that support them; and to prepare the citizenry and the city government for consequences associated with terrorist operations against the city.
Gang & Narcotics Division
The LAPD Gang & Narcotics Division (GND) uses a revolutionary, collaborative law enforcement strategy to combat gang violence, firearm trafficking, and illicit drug manufacturing, transportation, sale and use. Joint operations between narcotics and gang detectives allow for the rapid deployment of resources resulting in more effective investigations, quantifiable increases in arrests and significant reductions in crime rates. The GND is focused on disrupting violent gangs who support their lifestyle through the trafficking of narcotics and guns.
The LAPD K-9 Platoon provides vital support for field and detective operations involving searches for dangerous felons, armed suspects, and lost and missing persons, as well as helping with evidence recovery. These highly specialized canines also routinely assist with emergency calls for officer backup and assistance. Due to their immense success and the increasing demand for their unique services, the K-9 Platoon is available to the entire City of Los Angeles 24-hours a day year-round.
The LAPD Mounted Unit serves an important and highly visible role out in the field in areas of mass demonstration management, crowd control, crime suppression, and law enforcement at public parks, sports and entertainment complexes and beaches. They also assist in search and rescue missions in dense and mountainous areas around the city. Housed in a state-of-the-art, multi-acre, police equestrian center, the Mounted Unit is expertly trained, well-skilled, and fully equipped with a fleet of trucks and trailers to transport officers and their horses wherever they are needed.
Off Road Detail
The LAPD’s Off-Road Detail (ORD) routinely patrols the 221.8 miles of rugged and rural terrain that surrounds much of the San Fernando Valley. ORD traverses daily through the mountainous roads and dense brush to respond to missing person cases, graffiti taggers, prostitution, illegal driving of off–road vehicles, and homeless encampments that pose a great risk to the area during fire season. With the ability to go where no patrol cruiser can go, the ORD makes the city’s trails safe for hikers, cyclists and horseback riders.
The LAPD Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team is renowned worldwide as one of the foremost police tactical units in contemporary law enforcement. These highly trained officers provide a ready response to situations that are beyond the capabilities of normally equipped and trained Department personnel. SWAT is called upon to respond to high-risk situations where suspects are holding hostages, threatening suicide or barricading themselves. SWAT also initiates service of high-risk warrants for all Department entities and serves to control difficult-to-secure open areas that pose a significant threat to officers and/or civilians. Since its inception in 1967, the LAPD SWAT team has safely rescued hostages, arrested scores of violent suspects, and garnered hundreds of commendations and medals.
Underwater Dive Unit
The LAPD Underwater Dive Unit (UDU) handles and processes all underwater accident and crime scenes in order to investigate, gather evidence, document conditions, clear dangers, recover bodies, and execute search and rescue operations for persons, property, drugs, and hazardous materials. Available on an emergency callout basis 24-hours a day, these highly skilled and certified divers use sophisticated underwater communication systems, navigation equipment, still/video cameras, and specialized boats and salvage tools to save lives and preserve crucial evidence.