For each of the following units, officers perform the listed duties in addition to their normal job duties.
Many years ago, the Cranston Police Department Bike Patrol Unit was started to reduce crime through proactive policing and as a way to develop a more personal relationship with the public. Officers who are on bicycles are more accessible and frequently interact with citizens to handle special complaints or concerns. By doing so, the Cranston Police has become a more responsive department to the needs of each neighborhood's concerns.
The unit is utilized for special events (i.e. Saint Mary's Feast, Garden City concerts, Gaspee Day parade, etc.) as well as targeting certain areas for patrol as they have the ability to respond to locations that a vehicle cannot. These include densely populated areas, complexes with multiple buildings and especially, the areas surrounding the Washington Bike Path, which runs through the heart of the city.
In order to be certified, bike patrol officers must attend a physically intensive Law Enforcement Bicycle Patrol Course. The course teaches skills that are necessary for officers to maintain personal and public safety while performing their sworn duties. These skills include riding up and down stairs, suspect contacts, obstacle avoidance and controlled riding. The trainings are conducted with the assistance of the Rhode Island Airport Police.
Crisis Negotiation Team
The Cranston Police Department's Crisis Negotiation Team is made up four officers whose purpose is to conduct negotiations and/or provide negotiating strategies during potentially life-threatening incidents. The team's main function is to bring about non-violent endings to crisis situations. The Crisis Negotiation Team works independently or in conjunction with, the department,s Special Reaction Team.
Crisis Negotiation Team members have been trained in techniques to communicate with people who are threatening violence or suicide, including barricaded subjects and hostage takers. Crisis Negotiators are trained to defuse potentially dangerous situations and whose job is often conducted over the phone, away from the immediate scene.
Special Reaction Team
The Cranston Police Special Reaction Team consists of twenty-two officers who are specially trained and equipped to respond to critical incidents where public and officer safety may be a concern. The Cranston Police Special Reaction Team is certified by both the Rhode Island Commission on Police Officers Standards and Training and, nationally, by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
The primary goal of the Special Reaction Team is to save lives. This is achieved by deploying a team of selected personnel who are trained in tactics, the use of weapons, specialized equipment, and who are physically and mentally conditioned to deal with special threat situations or to resolve high threat incidents. The team is available upon the request of the Chief of Police to deal with situations such as barricaded suspects, hostage situations, drug raids, high threat warrant service, V.I.P. protection, search and rescue or any other situation the Chief of Police deems appropriate.
In addition, the team actively assists in the training of officers within the Cranston Police Department and agencies across the State. Team members can also be found teaching tactics at the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy as well as conducting threat assessments and awareness training to staff within our local schools and businesses.
Underwater Recovery Team
The Cranston Police Underwater Recover Team serves to assist the department in water borne investigations and specialized recovery. Every member of the team is a PADI certified open water diver and advanced open water diver. Some of the team's capabilities include submerged evidence location and recovery, submerged body location and recovery, and underwater vehicle extraction. The Underwater Recovery Team is also available to assist neighboring jurisdictions in their water based investigations and recoveries. Currently, there are twelve members assigned to the Cranston Police Underwater Recovery Team, which is the maximum capacity.