The Firearms Support Unit (FSU) provides North Yorkshire with 24 hour cover for spontaneous and pre-planned firearms operations.
Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs) and Dog Handlers have emerged from a vigorous selection procedure and are subject to ongoing training programmes which regularly tests physical and tactical skills. FSU personnel are proven team players who can make critical decisions under pressure.
AFOs are trained in various weapon systems, ranging from Rifles to Taser 'stun guns'. Each weapon has different characteristics which is vital when considering tactical advantage, safety and proportionality. Specialist teams operate within the department such as the Rifle and Close Protection teams who, for example, provide security for the Royal Family, MPs and other visiting dignitaries.
Operatives receive additional specialist training and equipment to perform other roles when not engaged on firearms duties. All members are trained in advanced driving (including vehicle pursuit) and building entry.
As a support unit, the team works closely with local areas by responding to immediate crime and generally assisting colleagues. Intelligence units specifically identify areas and initiatives upon which to focus and direct the FSU accordingly, such as the targeting of crime hotspots and road casualty reduction. The intelligence led strategy ensures precision, maximum efficiency and results.
The multi-skilled FSU is a high performing team which plays a vital role in the diverse challenges that face modern policing.
The Firearms Support Unit receives regular training delivered by the Firearms Training Team to ensure they remain accredited to the role they perform. The Firearms Training Team are all experienced Firearms Officers who ensure that the officers they train are regularly assessed and given up to date training techniques and equipment to perform their role.