KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Police Department's Tactical Response Team has been called to 35 standoffs this year. Each situation they've been called to has been different, but they train and prepare to make sure each one ends the same.
"The number one goal of a standoff or Operation 100 is the peaceful resolution of that situation, and there is no time limit," KCPD Sgt. Jake Becchina said.
The officers on the Tactical Response Team are trained to handle almost every situation imaginable and have trained to use almost every different weapon imaginable. Their weapons of choice are typically of the nonlethal variety.
"These are high-risk, very tense situations. If you see a lot of people around, it`s because we want to bring all of the resources we can to those situations. We want to bring everything we possibly have and every person we possibly have that can have success to peacefully end one of these situations," Becchina said. "We have many different options that are available to us that we consider to be less lethal. We try to resolve every one of our standoffs, Operation 100s, with peaceful negotiation."
While some of the weapons are intimidating, as are the number of officers that respond to a scene, the team will take as long as they need to in order to convince the suspect to end the standoff in a non-violent manner.
"In those situations we understand time is on our side. If there is somebody who is inside of a residence or a business and we know they are armed and refusing to come out, we have all the time in the world. We will wait and will conduct negotiations. We will try every tactic we can to get them to safely come out," Becchina said. "There’s no amount of money that’s too much to spend in a situation like that to safely bring it to an end and resolve a situation peacefully."
The department said they will continue to respond to standoff calls with the goal of saving and maintaining lives, not taking them.
"We will use every option at our disposal to prevent use of lethal force in a situation. Lethal force is the absolute last resort. It`s not something that we want to do to end any standoff situation or any situation for that matter," Becchina said.