Charmonium production in heavy ion collisions is considered as an important diagnostic probe for studying the phase diagram of strongly interacting matter for potential phase transitions. The interpretation of existing data from the CERN SPS is hampered by a lack of knowledge on the properties of open charm particle production in the fireball. Moreover, open charm production in heavy ion collisions by itself is poorly understood. To overcome this obstacle, the NA61/SHINE was equipped with a Small Acceptance Vertex Detector (SAVD), which is predicted to make the experiment sensitive to open charm mesons produced in A-A collisions at the SPS top energy. This paper will introduce the concept and the hardware of the SAVD. Moreover, first running experience as obtained in a commissioning run with a 150 AGeV/c Pb+Pb collision system will be reported.