RCMP Alberta - Special Tactical Operations

Behind the Frontline:
Special Tactical Operations

Special Tactical Operation
Quick facts
  • Keeping Albertans safe is the number one priority of the STO team.
  • STO team members wear a distinctive dark blue RCMP uniform.
  • The Alberta STO team was the first of its kind established in the RCMP.
  • Civilian RCMP employees play critical roles on the STO team.
  • On average, the STO team deploys three to four times a month.

Over the last year in Alberta, the Special Tactical Operations (STO) team has deployed over 42 times and has provided over 27,000 hours of policing support. The STO team provides flexible policing in response to public safety events and in situations when Albertans need it most.

Depending on the need, a STO team of any size and scale can be deployed. From a small team to provide immediate scene security to full-scale operations that require much larger teams for longer periods of time.

The STO team responds to a wide variety of emergency or security situations. When Alberta is faced with public security situations like natural disasters, or when a focused police presence is required, like at major public events, the STO team is at the ready to support communities and RCMP detachments that are impacted by events that surpass their local resources.

The STO team consists of 120 RCMP officers, all selected from detachments across Alberta. Civilian RCMP employees also play a role in STO team operations, serving as scribes, communications, training and technical specialists. Because STO team members are located throughout the province, the team can respond to any geographic location within just a few hours.

STO team members receive expert training in areas involving public order, crowd management, operational planning and incident command, and some STO members receive advanced training in the United Kingdom. Team members receive specialized training in evidence search techniques, and STO is frequently called upon to support the RCMP Major Crimes, Forensic Identification Services and Explosives Scene Examiners at crime scenes.

STO members also participate in regular joint training with municipal police forces and other emergency services such as Alberta Sherriffs and local emergency responders. STO team members often share their expertise and knowledge. Most recently, evidence search specialists have provided training for police officers in other provinces.

The STO team was established in 1999 with the approval of the K Division Commanding Officer.

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