POLICE Magazine

AUG 2018

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PoliceMag.com 41 and warrants service on potentially dan- gerous felons. "Anything high risk," says Capt. Michael Prichett, SRT commander. e Richland County SD fields 25 SRT operators drawn from its 709 deputies and other sworn officers. And those 25 SRT op- erators include "entry" personnel, snip- ers, and supporting operators. e sup- porting team members are fully qualified SRT operators, but with less experience than the entry personnel. at said, sup- porting members are involved in all SRT operations performing such functions as driving vehicles and setting up security perimeters. All SRT operators—whether entry per- sonnel, snipers, or support—must first be experienced deputies. ey are re- quired to be extremely physically fit and are required to shoot well and to have demonstrated a high level of proficiency with various types of weapons, breach- ing tools, flash-bangs, medical gear, and other pieces of SRT equipment. And they have to have completed the 40-hour as- sessment phase, which is also designed to determine if a potential operator has a fear of water, fire, tight spaces, or heights; all of which are interconnected in gauging someone's physical courage. Additionally, the department's SRT op- erators must have a demonstrable level of close-quarters combat skills and tacti- cal acumen. SRT operators must possess a high level of practical tactical skills. Perhaps that's why more than half of the department's SRT operators are veteran Army infantrymen or Marine riflemen. ey also have to be able to work together as RCSD officers performing law enforce- ment missions and building both indi- vidual capabilities and capacities and the capabilities and capacities of the team. "ey have to know each another and spend a lot of time with one another," says Prichett. "And they do, even in their off time." HIGH-LEVEL TRAINING Creative training scenarios developed for SRT operators are based heavily on after- action reports, reviews, and evaluations of best practices and mistakes made in ongoing special tactics operations and counterterrorist unit missions worldwide. Sheriff Lott, who years ago served as a sniper on one of the department's earliest SWAT teams, also has his SRT operators train with and learn from those outside of the department. Training has been con- ducted with other police SWAT teams, the FBI's regional teams, Army Special Forces operators, and Nav y SEALs. "is SRT is truly one of the best in the nation," says Lott. "It is so for several reasons, not the least of which is we have uniquely experienced and very capable leaders. We have developed a culture of operational creativity. And no one man or woman serving on the SRT believes them- selves to be better or superior to another: ey see themselves as just differently skilled and always with a 'capacity' for growth." W. omas Smith Jr. is a special deputy with the Richland County Sheriff's Dept. Protect everyone in your department. One adjustable tactical suit for multiple sizes. (800) 356-7311 | sales@sirchie.com | www.sirchie.com

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