The objective of the Tactical and Rescue Unit is to contain and resolve potentially life threatening situations. The preservation of life is the unit's number one priority.
In response to a visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976, a six man Sniper Team was formed by the Peel Regional Police. Later that year, the unit received training from Los Angeles Police Department SWAT members and was primarily utilized as a street level drug unit when not engaged in tactical duties. By the early 1980's the team grew to 15 officers that included two, six-man teams with two sergeants and a staff sergeant as the officer in charge.
In 2006, the unit expanded again as a result of the amalgamation of the Airport Division's Emergency Response Team and the regional Tactical and Rescue Unit. This merger replaced the part-time Emergency Response Team with full-time tactically trained officers working out of Pearson International Airport on rotation basis.
The unit's mandate is to respond to incidents of hostage / barricaded persons or any situation where a firearm or weapon is involved. The Tactical and Rescue Unit provides tactical support for all the bureaus within the Peel Regional Police.
The tactical operator is highly trained in areas of Firearms, Hostage Rescue, Rappelling, High Risk Offender Apprehension, Warrant Service, Sniper Interdiction, Tubular Assaults and Hostage Negotiation. Special Weapons and Tactics training is ongoing with officers receiving specialized training from experts across North America.
To become a member of the unit, candidates must have at least five years of policing experience and must pass strenuous physical fitness tests including the Ontario PIN test and a job specific physical fitness test. Additionally, candidates must pass weapons testing and an interview. Successful candidates then enter a six week Basic Tactical Operators Course which trains to all the core competencies required to be a certified tactical operator. Once this training is completed, the candidates enter a nine month probationary period prior to becoming a full-time member of the Tactical and Rescue Unit.