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Harbor Police Functions




Harbor Police SUV at Port Pavilion

Harbor Police Functions

The Harbor Police Department functions in all aspects of maritime public safety on San Diego Bay. This includes speed enforcement, vessel accident investigations, marine firefighting, counter-smuggling, counter-terrorism, special events, and more. Harbor Police officers have a very unique job because of the diversity of their mission. They also collaborate with local, state and federal partners in a wide variety of public safety and security functions.

  • Marine Firefighting

    Marine Firefighting

    All Harbor Police officers are cross trained to meet the standards of a marine firefighter. Officers undergo a vigorous four-week training program and further their training with annual updates and refresher courses.

    The Harbor Police Department's firefighting vessels are set up similar to a fire engine. Vessels have hose nozzles, rescue tools, foam, breathing equipment and more. Officers carry their personal firefighting gear with them at all times and may have to quickly switch from vehicle patrol to vessel firefighting on a moment's notice.

    Harbor Police officers respond to all types of fire-related incidents on San Diego Bay and its surrounding areas. They also respond to incidents along the coast of the Pacific Ocean and provide mutual aid to the City of San Diego Lifeguards for incidents in Mission Bay.

  • Traffic Enforcement

    Traffic Enforcement

    The Traffic Enforcement Team patrols the areas around San Diego Bay by vehicle. In addition to routine patrol duties, this team specializes in enforcing traffic regulations and investigations of traffic collisions. Officers within this unit receive specific training in crime scene documentation, measurement procedures, mathematical calculation of vehicle speeds and reconstructing of accident scenes.

  • Airport Law Enforcement

    Airport Law Enforcement

    The Harbor Police Department provides public safety services to San Diego International Airport. Officers patrol the airport's terminals, airport-related buildings, access roads and parking lots 24 hours a day.

  • K-9 Teams

    K-9 Teams

    Explosives Detection: The Harbor Police have a special canine team that is trained to detect explosives. This team of specially trained officers and their K-9 partners undergoes a rigorous training and certification program to become Transportation Security Administration (TSA) certified. This team is the only one south of Los Angeles that is TSA certified. The team works primarily at the airport and around Port tidelands, but is often called out to assist with other public safety agencies.

    Narcotic Detection: Like the Explosives Team, the Narcotic Detection K-9 team receives specialized training and must go through a certification process. Additionally, the team is often called out to assist other agencies in narcotics detection.

  • Dive Team

    Dive Team

    The Harbor Police Department has a regional asset in its exceptionally skilled Dive Team. This team is specially trained in search and rescue, evidence and body recovery, underwater explosive detection, vehicle recovery and many other surface and underwater capabilities. The Dive Team includes two sergeants who supervise a 20-member team. All members are able to be called in for any type of water emergency, 24 hours a day. After the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Dive Team has been assisting the military in conducting special responses to aid the United States Navy when requested. In addition, the team works closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.

    The Dive Team is part of the San Diego Regional Aquatic Lifesaving Emergency Response Task Force. This task force was created to partner with maritime entities to respond to mass-rescue and mass-casualty aquatic events.