The members of this team are trained, professional individuals who perform the challenging task of looking for objects often times in zero visibility and in difficult environments where most recreational scuba divers would not venture. Today this Unit consists of 23 Police Officers that are assigned to various other divisions of the Department and come together when called upon for an operation. To be an operational diver on this team requires that the officers be at least a certified Public Safety Diver through the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD).
To become a IANTD Public Safety Diver you must complete the Basic Open Water, Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver courses through either PADI or NAUI or other recognized certifying body.. You must also be CPR certified and a First Responder (Police Officer, Fire Fighter or EMT).
All dive team members are certified to use Dry suits, Full Face Masks and surface supplied air systems as well as Scuba, depending on the operational needs.
The Dallas Police Dive Team NAUI instructor was instrumental in the creation of the Surface Supplied Air Certification lesson plan for NAUI and TCLEOSE (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education).
Black cold water diving is not for everyone and it’s not unusual for applicants to withdraw from the training or leave the team after experiencing the grueling hazardous conditions which are a far cry from recreational diving.
In addition to the basics of diving, public safety divers require specialized training for hazards, risk assessment, dive planning, search procedures and techniques, diving in zero visibility, using metal detectors, sonar, full-face masks, communication systems, surface supplied air, dry suits, lift bags, decontamination and more. They are expected to recover and handle evidence in a manner where it can be presented in court and supported by their testimony.
Our current roster consists of 16 Public Safety Divers, 2 Dive Masters and 5 Instructors.
Divers must qualify quarterly to make sure they and their equipment is ready to dive. The qualification is a series of swim, tread and skills which will be performed in black out mask. Divers are required to provide documentation all of their personal equipment meets annual certifications and inspections.