Special Response Team
Formed in 1999 to more safely enter buildings in high-risk situations such as service of drug search warrants, team members were trained by the U.S. Army. The Special Response Team (SRT) is made up of patrol deputies and detectives. With the explosion of methamphetamine production and use, many team members became certified Clandestine Laboratory Technicians.
While some agencies adopt a philosophy that a tactical team can be activated to respond to an emergency, in Douglas County we believe the proactive use of the team reduces danger to law enforcement, suspects, and innocent bystanders. Many members of the team received their initial tactical training through the military who offered the training, lodging, and meals free-of-charge to civilian law enforcement.
Our team currently participates in a contract with Chief Joseph Dam near Bridgeport, and Grand Coulee Dam, both of which reimburse the Sheriff's Office for the costs associated with training at their facilities.
We initially obtained tactical equipment using the Sheriff's Office drug fund, and the donation of a ballistic shield by the City of Bridgeport. The drug fund itself is funded by convicted drug offender contributions ordered by the court, and occasionally asset seizures. More recently we have obtained tactical equipment through our relationship with Grand Coulee Dam.
SRT team members wear BDUs (fatigues) for uniformity and easy visual recognition. BDUs are inexpensive. They wear head covers (balaclavas), ballistic helmets and goggles for protection in the event of close-quarter shooting. The SRT performs tasks that in the past patrol deputies would normally have done, but by having the team we can do these tasks more safely with more intensive training and the best equipment available to us.
Armored Car (Peacekeeper)
Through the military and with the assistance of Representative "Doc" Hastings we acquired an armored car the U.S. Air Force designates the Peacekeeper. It is a Dodge 1.25 ton truck frame with an armored body attached. We obtained this at the expense of shipping, a paint job and a carburetor. We have installed a used radio, light bar and cell phone. We use it on high-risk entries and it is available to any law enforcement agency in the area.
To haul the Peacekeeper distances farther than the immediate area we purchased a dual axle flat bed trailer. We installed a used winch on the trailer and now use it to haul cars seized as evidence and our own vehicles when necessary.