Specialty Units

Response and Preparedness Group

The Response and Preparedness Group (RPG) is the emergency disaster team at TPD, responsible for the readiness and deployment of non-traditional equipment during critical incidents and disasters. The RPG was authorized as a specialty unit by Chief Anderson in early 2016 and was the result of efforts by the department to be more prepared for disaster responses following the April 2011 tornadoes.

Crisis Negotiation Team

The Crisis Negotiation Team is an on-call unit activated when there is a need to communicate with an individual that has barricaded him or herself in a house or a building, is suicidal, or has active warrants and refuses to surrender to officers. The CNT is also utilized when there is a hostage situation and communication is needed to bring a peaceful resolution.

Helicopter Unit

Established in 1971, the Tuscaloosa Police Department Helicopter Division is the oldest, full-time law enforcement aviation unit in the state of Alabama. The primary mission of the Helicopter Division is to provide aerial support to patrol and investigative divisions of the Tuscaloosa Police Department and surrounding law enforcement agencies in neighboring counties.


The primary mission of the Traffic Division is to enforce traffic laws and investigate traffic accidents throughout the City of Tuscaloosa. The Traffic Division also investigates hit-and-run accidents that occur on the roadways and on private property within the city limits.

Patrol Officers

The Tuscaloosa Police Department’s Patrol Division is the largest division within the Police Department. The Patrol Division currently works from four locations: Headquarters, West Precinct, East Precinct, and Downtown Precinct. Headquarters is the administrative center for the Patrol Division. Headquarters is the base of operation for the Patrol Commander, Field Training Officer Program and K9 officers.

Special Response Team

The unit consists of highly trained personnel with specific skills in marksmanship, tactical response and containment, deployment of chemical munitions, less lethal munitions and explosive breaching. The unit has been utilized for high-risk warrant service, barricaded suspects, hostage situations, search and rescue and VIP security.

K9 Unit

TPD started its Canine Unit in the early 1970s with two dual-purpose dogs. Today, TPD has five canines each with a full-time handler. A handler and his canine are on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to assist patrol or other specialty units should the need arise. All canines are assigned to the patrol division.

Major Crimes Response Unit

The Major Crimes Response Unit (MCRU) was created in 2007, as a subdivision of the Criminal Investigations Division, to process major crime scenes through documentation, evidence collection and analysis.

Hazardous Devices Unit

The Hazardous Device Unit technicians are specially trained in the recognition, identification, and disarming of explosives, incendiary devices and other weapons of mass destruction. HDU technicians are certified by the FBI at their Hazardous Devices School at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

Honor Guard

The Honor Guard has represented the Police Department at funerals, inaugurations and the posting of colors at various local, state and national ceremonies. The goal of the Honor Guard Team is to represent the Tuscaloosa Police Department in the utmost professional manner and to honor and pay respect to fallen officers and their families.