The 1973 Crime Control Act enabled federal funding for police tactical units. The Lansing Police Department applied for and received such a grant, allowing the LPD tactical team to be formed. From the beginning, the team was given the designation as the "Special Tactics and Rescue Team" (START) The mission of the team is to save lives. Since the team's inception, that mission has never changed. It is accomplished by the application of specialized training, superior logistical support, and team member dedication.

City residents, the Department, and team members are proud of the job START does on an ongoing basis. When the citizens of Lansing need help, they call the police. When the police need help, they call START.