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Police Diving Teams

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 21 Issue: 9 Dated: (September 1994) Pages: 46-49
D Martin
Date Published
4 pages
Forming a police diving team to perform underwater search, recovery, and rescue operations requires careful planning, training, and preparation.
Most diving teams are formed in response to need. Most have fewer than 20 divers, who are on call 24 hours a day. No gender requirement or age limit exists; divers with lengthy experience are particularly useful. Dive teams must practice at least once a month, both individually and collectively. Before joining the team, members must become certified in basic open water diving. Most also take courses leading to the certification of divemaster, which is one step below an instructor. In addition, officers are periodically trained in special aspects of police diving. Preplanning before an actual callout is also important. The team must know the types of water in the jurisdiction, the types of water accidents that have occurred, and other resources that might be available. The chance of success is greatest if operations and equipment are standardized. Divers agree that the biggest danger is entrapment. Diving into cold water also involves specific risks. Most divers agree that diver safety is the first priority. They also believe that the greatest benefit of being part of a police dive team is its effectiveness in dealing with crime. Photographs and name and telephone of organization from which to obtain further information