In 1975 the Colorado Springs Police Department determined that a need existed for a flexible, well trained and equipped unit to handle certain exceptional circumstances. In 1976, two sergeants and three officers attended the National Police Academy in Quantico, VA. TEU became fully operational at the beginning of 1977 with one sergeant and nine officers as a full-time team.
In April 2003, TEU, a full-time SWAT team (one of three full-time teams in the state of Colorado) expanded to fifteen officers and one sergeant, with a second sergeant, added a few years later. In May of 2010, as a result of an economic downturn for Colorado Springs, the unit was cut back to twelve operators and one sergeant. Presently, as of 2018, TEU is comprised of twelve operators and two sergeants. The unit operates out of the Specialized Enforcement Division under the Patrol Support Bureau.
The primary responsibility of TEU is to save lives. The members of TEU are highly motivated and well conditioned individuals specially equipped and trained to function as a cohesive tactical unit.
TEU emphasizes training, teamwork, information, mental and physical toughness, confidence, self discipline and accountability, as well as the controlled use of less lethal and lethal options.
To protect human life by peacefully resolving high-risk incidents through the use of specially trained and equipped police officers. The Colorado Springs Police Department strives to provide a highly trained and mobile Tactical Enforcement Unit to respond to whatever mission may be necessary to safeguard the community, its citizens, and officers.