Patrol Operations are the backbone of the Police Department. Officers respond on a daily basis to calls for service from the public and handle varying situations that require quick thinking, professionalism and problem solving skills.
Lieutenant Roger Knott - Daylight Shift (pictured left)
Lieutenant Jason Kidd - Evening Shift
Lieutenant Todd Miller - Night Shift
HPD has four patrol squads each consisting of ten officers, a K9 Officer, and supervised by a Sergeant and a Corporal. The supervisors are responsible for the day to day operations of the squad and direct field assignments. Patrol officers with the Harrisonburg Police Department hold the rank of Police Officer (PO) I or II and then are promoted to Career Police Officer (CPO).
PO I's are officers who are in the process of being trained and have yet to complete their 18 week basic academy and 16 week field training program.
PO II's are released for solo patrol assignments and receive a ranking insignia of one stripe once they have mastered one specialty skill area, requiring at least 40 hours of training.
The rank of Career Police Officer is reserved for those officers who have at least five years of police experience and meet certain requirement of the department's Career Development Program.
The typical patrol officer in Harrisonburg has an average of five years of field experience. They work 12 hour permanent shifts either daylight or nights depending on squad assignment. They patrol the City of Harrisonburg on a 24 hour basis in a variety of marked and unmarked police vehicles.
HPD's K-9 Unit is comprised of four officers and one supervisor, all of which are full time handlers. Each member of the unit has been partnered with either a Belgian Malinois or German Shepherd. The dogs are crossed trained in Patrol Utility Work and Scent Detection Work. Patrol Utility Work is comprised of tracking, article searches, building searches, and apprehensions. Scent Detection Work includes narcotic and explosive detection.
HPD's Bicycle Unit has five officers assigned to selective enforcement activities throughout the City and downtown Harrisonburg. The bike patrol makes use of several types of police model bicycles as well as utilizing marked and unmarked patrol vehicles to allow rapid response to problem areas. They work closely with the regional Drug Taskforce as well as the Virginia Alcohol and Beverage Control Board on drug and alcohol enforcement actions and investigations. Occasionally these officers are assigned to undercover,
or plain clothes patrol operations in high crime areas.
The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit of the Harrisonburg Police Department is a multi talented unit able to respond to most any type of incident from a barricade to a high risk warrant. The members of this team are full time officers or investigators who train together regularly to maintain their proficiency. Members of our SWAT team regularly join with members of the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office SWAT team when additional manpower is required by either unit. Selection to this unit is highly competitive and is a sought after assignment.
The Crisis Negotiations Team is currently made up of eight sworn and one non-sworn personnel. Each member is assigned to other duties within the agency and responds on an as needed basis to emergencies. This team handles all of the technical as well as actual details of the negotiation process. Its members all have specialized training in the area of crisis negotiations and are utilized for incidents ranging from abductions and barricades to suicidal subjects.