Rochester Police Department Special Operations Division

Commander Joseph MorabitoThe Special Operations Division is is commanded by Commander Joseph Morabito.
Operationally the Special Operations Division falls under the Operations Bureau.

The Special Operations Division consists of:

The Special Operation Section, which is located at 261 Child Street, Rochester, NY 14611.  The following units fall under this section:

The Tactical Unit, which is responsible for providing directed patrol, crime specific details, pro-active anti-crime efforts, and technical equipment to deal with selected crime problems.  

The Traffic Enforcement Unit, which is responsible for specialized alcohol enforcement countermeasures and pro-active traffic enforcement on a citywide basis, as well as traffic direction and control throughout the City as directed. This Unit analyzes citywide motor vehicle accidents and enforcement activities, and disseminates information to the Special Operations Section Commanding Officer for review and planning. It is also responsible for the handling or referral of complaints or suggestions concerning traffic-engineering deficiencies and transmits accident and enforcement data to the Traffic Control Board. It is further responsible for coordination of the school crossing guard program.

The Mounted Unit, which provides specialized patrol services in the City as directed.

The K-9 Unit, which provides canine support services in the area of building searches and tracking, as well as nitrate and drug searches.

The Youth Services Unit is responsible for the development and implementation of programs designed to prevent and control juvenile delinquency including School Resource Officers (SROs), administering the Department’s youth initiatives, serving as a liaison with Family Court and other social agencies and advising the Department on procedural changes that will affect the Department’s juvenile related activities. This function is responsible for the coordination and administration of the Department’s Truancy Intervention Programs. This function is also responsible for the collection of data from SROs regarding juvenile criminal activity in the schools, development of programs to address problems identified, and coordination of youth-related programs.

The Central Investigation Section is responsible for conducting specified investigations, and providing investigative support services necessary for the effective operation of the Police Department. CIS functions include:

Major Crimes Investigations, which investigates all homicides and incidents of suspicious or unexplained deaths, undetermined or incendiary fires, certain missing persons, bank robberies, certain types of child abuse, including incidents involving sexual exploitation of children, and maintaining and updating files on known pedophiles including the Sex Offender Registry.

Investigative Support Services provides investigative support services and functions, including includes coordinating the administration of polygraph and voice stress analyzer exams, license investigations, firearms investigations, economic crimes investigations, technicians, Family and Victim Services, which inlcudes Victim Assistance and Family Crisis Intervention Team (FACIT).


The Special Investigation Section is responsible for the suppression of organized crime, illegal narcotics trafficking, and other vice related activity. It is responsible for initiating certain investigations, participating in multi-jurisdictional task forces, and coordinating enforcement action including, but not limited to: illegal narcotics trafficking, organized crime, illegal gambling, organized prostitution and pornography, illegal sale and distribution of liquor and tobacco, and illegal firearms. It is further responsible for the investigation of any crime or series of crimes as directed by the Chief of Police.

Specialized Team Functions, including:

The Bomb Squad, which responds to all incidents involving explosives, explosions, bombs and bombings.

The Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team, which responds to incidents of barricaded gunmen, hostage situations and high risk warrants.

The SCUBA Squad, which responds to all incidents of drowning, underwater mishaps, and underwater evidence recovery in or on City waterways.

The Emotionally Disturbed Person Response Team (EDPRT) - A group of employees specially trained, on a voluntary basis, to deal with emotionally disturbed individuals in a variety of situations in the Rochester community. These situations may include suicidal persons, persons exhibiting irrational behavior, handling psychiatric patients, the homeless, various mental health concerns and/or referrals, and any other situations that deal specifically with the needs of the mental health community and emotionally disturbed persons.

The Crisis Negotiation Team, which is responsible for intervention in situations involving hostage, suicide, barricaded gunmen and other situations where their expertise in negotiations may be of value.

The Mobile Field Force is a specially trained group of members assigned to provide rapid, organized and disciplined response to civil disorder, crowd control or other tactical situations.