The Special Enforcement Team directs its efforts towards special problems or patterns of criminal activity that cannot be adequately handled by a traditional patrol response. Officers work in "plain clothes" and drive unmarked vehicles while on duty. Although based out of the Investigations Division, SET provides assistance to all three divisions of the department.
SET takes a proactive approach to targeting some of the City's most difficult crime-related problems. Team members make a concerted effort to stay abreast of emerging crime trends in order to combat problems at the earliest opportunity. Some of SET's goals include targeting felony-related offenses, the apprehension of offenders who have violated the condition of their probation or parole, providing technical assistance and intelligence to other units, dignitary protection, and the supervision of "decoy" operations. SET also tracks gang members and activity in the City of Santa Clara.