Counter Terrorism & Special Tactics
The Counter Terrorism & Special Tactics Command, led by Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch, is responsible for NSW Police Force’s preparedness for, prevention of and response to the threat of terrorism in NSW. The Command also provides tactical support to general policing throughout the State. The Command’s response comes from four major groups; Anti Terrorism & Security Group, Coordinated Response Group, Operations Group and the State Protection Group which are administratively supported by a Business Support Unit.
Anti Terrorism & Security Group
The Anti Terrorism & Security Group has responsibilities in countering and responding to terrorism through investigative and intelligence operations and provides State security through dignitary and witness protection. The Terrorism Intelligence Unit provides strategic and tactical intelligence support to the Command which includes risk and threat assessment. The Terrorism Investigations Squad works in partnership with the Australian Federal Police, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the NSW Crime Commission to investigate all threats (or acts) of terrorism impacting on NSW. The Protection Operations Unit coordinates security operations within NSW for Internationally Protected Persons and public dignitaries considered to be at risk. The Unit provides specialist advice in the planning and response arrangements to major events which may be at risk of terrorism. The Witness Security Unit is responsible for the administration and management of the NSW witness protection program.
Coordinated Response Group
The Coordinated Response Group brings together a number of operational units and the Command’s resources responsible for coordination within the NSW Police Force and external agencies that have responsibilities in relation to a response to terrorism. The CT Response Unit is responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of capabilities as defined under the National Counter Terrorism Plan. The Protection Programs Unit is responsible for the delivery of counter terrorism specific protective security strategies through the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit. The Business Contact Unit provides liaison established to facilitate communication between the NSW Police Force and members of the private business sector (see website : secure.nsw.gov.au). This Unit also has a security advisory capability. Counter terrorism training exercises in NSW are managed through the Exercise Management Unit.
The Operations Group provides operational support to the Command through a number of proactive units. The Community Contact Unit employs the Command’s community engagement strategy by engaging with communities to promote positive partnerships and increased understanding of NSW Police Force counter terrorism response arrangements. The Unit acts as the conduit for reciprocal information flows between the Command and communities who may fall victim to terrorism, those likely to be impacted by the police use of terrorism powers or communities with persons at risk of radicalisation. Through the Education & Training Unit, the Command ensures that both police and external bodies are educated in relation to terrorism trends and threats. The Strategy Unit researches and evaluates local, national and global trends to provide awareness of the current and future environments. The Security Management Unit provides a protective security service to selected NSW Police Force and State Government complexes, ensuring an overall safe and secure working environment for personnel, property and information.
State Protection Group
The State Protection Group provides a wide range of specialist policing services in support of operational police throughout the State, which are beyond the scope and capability of police generally. The Tactical Operations Unit and Negotiations Unit provide extraordinary response to the resolution of high risk situations on a domestic and counter terrorism level. The Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit provide general rescue, land search coordination, bomb (improvised explosive device) response and operational support services. The Dog Unit provides general purpose and tactical dogs services as well as drug, firearms, explosives and cadaver detection capabilities. The Police Armoury supply and maintain police firearms, weapons systems, ammunition & provide specialised armourer engineering services.
Business Support Unit
The Business Support Unit provides services designed to allow the Command’s operational members to carry out their frontline duties with the maximum support available and the minimal intrusion of administrative processes. These services involve applying human resource, financial and budget management, rostering and general administrative functions, security system management and property maintenance services in support of the Command. The Unit also facilitates logistical and purchasing support to meet the members’ day to day operational needs.
Find out more about the NSW Police Force Dog Unit.