The Department Underwater Recovery Team is currently staffed by six highly motivated police officers trained to various levels in the use of Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA). The Darien Police Department Dive Team, commanded by Lt. George Vitone is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Team members utilize various articles of equipment including dry suits and full face masks which allow for year round diving regardless of the water temperature or quality. These face masks are equipped with underwater communications which allows for communication from diver to diver, diver to boat, or diver to land unit. Additional specialized equipment such as underwater cameras, metal detectors and light salvage equipment is also available to aid the divers in their duties.
The team is utilized for any operation involving the underwater environment and engages in evidence recovery and preservation for criminal cases. Divers have been used for operations as diverse as the inspection of the tidal gates at the Rings End Bridge to the recovery of evidence (stolen jewelry, safes, weapons, etc.) and drowning victims. The Darien Police Dive Team is also used to assist surrounding jurisdictions in either joint operations or in jurisdictions that do not have similar units.
The team trains year round, both indoors and out. Training activities is conducted on a regular basis to help members maintain proficiency in navigation, zero visibility diving and the utilization of specialized equipment such as the EXO rigid skeleton facemask, lift bags, video and still cameras, and search lines.
The members have various levels of certifications with some members trained in the use of Nitrox, Re-Breather Units, Ice Diving Techniques, and surface entry from a hovering helicopter (see above.) The team can be deployed from the department's twin engine, 27-foot Glacier Bay vessel, a 13 foot inflatable vessel, or can deploy from any location along the Long Island Sound Coast."