The Special Operations Bureau provides the Los Angeles Police Department specialized units in support of daily field activities, unusual occurrences, and elevated threat conditions.
SOB also provides line supervision over all of the department's gang enforcement and gang strategies.
Divisions of the Special Operations Bureau Edit
Air Support Division Edit
The Air Support Division is the airborne unit for the LAPD. It is the largest municipal airborne unit in the United States, consisting of 88 sworn personnel and 19 helicopters.
- During The Closer and Major Crimes, a real life LAPD Officer, Sergeant Steve Roussell, is featured in his role as a ASD Tactical Flight Officer. He also consults with the production team on all aspects of filming which require the use of LAPD helicopters.
Metropolitan Division Edit
The primary responsibility of the Metro Division is to provide support to the Department’s community-based policing efforts by deploying additional crime suppression resources throughout the City. These assignments include uniformed crime suppression details, as well as responding to high-risk barricaded situations, stakeouts, security details, warrant service, and assisting investigators in solving major crimes.
A, B, C, and G Platoons: Crime suppression Edit
A, B, C, and G platoons are usually tasked with crime suppression as well as selective enforcement details in high frequency crime areas and targeting repeat offenders and criminal predators. They often serve high risk search warrants as well and during protection details and high profile events within the city, they deploy heavily armed tactical units for added security.
D Platoon: SWAT Edit
D Platoon is the Special Weapons and Tactics (S.W.A.T.) team of the LAPD. They provide the department with 24-hour coverage necessary for immediate response to barricaded suspects, snipers, crisis and hostage negotiations, potential suicide-related situations, and other high-risk incidents.
E Platoon: Mounted unit Edit
E Platoon serves as the LAPD's mounted police unit and the reserve unit of the Special Operations Bureau. The platoon currently has 32 horses which deploy to the City streets or during special events to add to the Department’s professional image.
H Platoon: Municipal Executives Protection Detail Edit
H Platoon is responsible for the security teams that protect the Mayor, Chief of Police and City Attorney as well as other dignitaries if needed.
Canine (K-9) Platoon Edit
The K-9 Platoon deploys highly trained dog handlers and their canine partners to conduct searches and apprehend felony suspects throughout the Los Angeles area.
M Platoon: Command, administration, and support Edit
The M platoon serves as the command and administrative section and also provides the support function for the division. In addition to the administrative duties, they coordinate Metro's many tactical firearms training programs and ensures compliance with state-mandated training. Additionally, this platoon is in charge of the armory that maintains all of Metro’s equipment. This includes the specialized vehicles, weapons, ammunition and other specialized tools used by the division.
Special Operations Support Division / Emergency Operations Division Edit
- The Special Operations Support Division changed its name to the Emergency Operations Division in 2010.
- During The Closer, a SOSD Detective Mikki Mendoza occasionally worked with the Major Crimes Division.
Gang Support Section (GSS) Edit
Mission of the GSS is:
- Identify and cause the arrest of active, violence-prone career criminal gang members
- Provide oversight and coordination of area Gang Impact Teams (GIT), and
- Develop and maintain an automated system to identify and track career criminals
In addition to field operations on career criminals, GSS also maintains LAPD’s Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMG) files and interacts daily with other agencies monitoring OMGs.
GSS is also responsible for updating the Citywide gang database, monitoring and disseminating gang-related criminal statistics, developing an active parolee database, and serving as an liaison to the California Youth Authority and Los Angeles County Probation Department.
Traffic Coordination Section (TCS) Edit
The Traffic Coordination Section provides support and administrative services related to traffic issues. TCS is comprised of the Traffic Analytical Unit, and the Multi-Discipline Collision Investigation Team.
The Traffic Analytical Unit is responsible for conducting traffic related research, analyzing traffic legislation and court decisions as well as proposing additions and amendments to the California Vehicle Code.
The Multi-Discipline Collision Investigation Team (MCIT) is responsible for maintaining the department's Traffic Manual, completing traffic collision reconstructions, providing expert testimonies in court, and being available to investigate traffic collisions and traffic-related crimes that meet MCIT criteria.
Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau (CTSOB) Edit
In the real LAPD, the Special Operations Bureau was merged with the Counter-Terrorism & Criminal Intelligence Bureau (CTCIB) in 2010, creating the new Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau (CTSOB) which was then assigned to the newly created Office of Special Operations.
The commanding officer of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau is Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing.
Deputy Chief Downing is assisted by two Assistant Commanding Officers, Commanders Prokop, and Frank.
Commander Edward Prokop assists the Chief in matters related to the original Special Operations Bureau, meaning the Air Support Division, Metropolitan Division, and the Emergency Operations Division.
Commander Horace Frank assists the Chief in matters related to the original Counter-Terrorism & Criminal Intelligence Bureau, meaning the real life Major Crimes Division, with its vastly different job description than depicted in the series, and the Emergency Services Division, consisting of the Bomb Squad Unit and the Hazardous Materials & Environmental Crimes Unit.
In the Major Crimes Universe, this merge has not happened as the former Chief of Police, Tommy Delk, was once the Deputy Chief of the fictional Counter-Terrorism Division before his promotion to Chief of Police.
Also, the fictional Criminal Intelligence Division, which is currently under the command of Commander Leo Mason, presumably has some of the investigative responsibilities that the real life Major Crimes Division has, tying the division to the Counter-Terrorism & Criminal Intelligence Bureau.
It is possible that the Counter-Terrorism Division and the Criminal Intelligence Division are the Major Crimes Universe's equivalents of the Counter-Terrorism & Criminal Intelligence Bureau, handling different parts of its investigative and operational responsibilities, as the CTCIB does not exist, and has never existed, in the Major Crimes Universe.