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The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Detail (SED) was founded under Sheriff Duane Lowe in 1972 after several incidents around the nation prompted the need for a group of specially trained and equipped officers to deploy to high risk situations. Originally headed by Sergeant Max Davidson, the team consisted of six officers who took it upon themselves to seek out relative equipment and training in the areas of high risk search warrants, hostage situations, civil unrest and natural disasters, to name a few.

Today the Special Enforcement Detail is comprised of a Lieutenant, two Sergeants and approximately 20 specially trained officers. These officers are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the unincorporated area of Sacramento County. The Special Enforcement Detail is responsible for the successful resolution of critical incidents and is tasked with responding to hostage situations, armed barricaded subjects, high risk warrant services, VIP dignitary protection, security for high profile events and are frequently tasked with providing supplemental directed street level law enforcement in high crime areas.

The Special Enforcement Detail averages 15-20 emergency call-outs and 40 pre-planned events a year. The majority of the preplanned events constitute the service of high-risk search and arrest warrants. SED is frequently requested to assist with situations where there is an increased safety risk to officers or the community. They work closely with all other divisions of the department.

The team trains on high risk tactics on a weekly basis. Those training days are devoted to working on shooting skills, dynamic entry techniques, slow and deliberate searches, chemical agent deployments, team movements, linear assaults, land navigation, "less than lethal" weapons or device deployment, active shooter responses, hostage rescue, helicopter insertions, night operations, tactical combat casualty care and physical fitness. Training is conducted with a specific focus on successful resolutions of critical incidents with the least amount of impact to the public, as well as safety of the citizens and other officers.

The detail is responsible for the arrest of many of Sacramento's most dangerous criminals and has successfully resolved hundreds of critical incidents throughout the years. Many of the Special Enforcement Detail members are highly decorated veteran officers who have been the recipients of Major Incident Ribbons, Life Saving Medals, Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, Gold Stars and multiple Medals of Valor. Some notable incidents to date where SED has been utilized include the “Good Guys” hostage standoff of 1991, as well as the “Arden Way” three-day hostage standoff of 2010.

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