Police union responds to deactivation of GPD SWAT Team

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)- The Fraternal Order of Police Gator Lodge 67 is responding to the deactivation of the Gainesville Police Department SWAT team.

This comes after a few SWAT Team members resigned this month.

Monday night, Gainesville Police Chief Tony Jones met with members of the city's police advisory council.

One of the topics discussed by the chief was the resignation of at least four SWAT team members.

GPD is not releasing the names of those members but two were team leaders and another was the team commander.

A TV20 reporter received an anonymous statement from one of the members who resigned explaining one of the reasons why they left the swat team.

The statement says: “I truly believe that the GPD administration would sacrifice me and any other member of this team for the sake of saving face or acquiescing to outside influence regardless of merit."

Concerns were raised by officers following a shooting at the Heart Of The City Hookah Lounge at the beginning of the month.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office SWAT team is now handling call outs and search warrant services for the City of Gainesville

“The SWAT teams work together all the time because there are some instances that are so large or so long that they need more team members to work the incidents,” GPD Chief Inspector Jorge Campos said.

GPD says some of the other members left for personal reasons and some were tenured.

The Fraternal Order of Police Gator Lodge 67 sent a TV20 reporter a statement saying: If there's enough of a problem to cause "tenured " members of SWAT to step down from the team, the administration at GPD should be careful not to turn a deaf ear to their concerns."

GPD says all members who resigned from the SWAT team are still a part of the agency.

ASO will be using their SWAT team services for the City of Gainesville until January 7th.