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The Wood County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team (SRT) was started in the spring of 1995. The team's goal is to provide a highly trained group of deputies to respond to high risk situations throughout Wood County. The SRT started with eight team members and quickly expanded. Over the years the SRT has expanded to its current strength of 24 members, including two marksmen.
The SRT has trains to respond to a variety of high risk situations which include hostage rescue, high risk search warrants, high risk arrest warrants, barricaded subject(s), dignitary protection, active shooter(s), and other situations that may be requested by the Wood County Sheriff.
The SRT has access to a variety of specialized equipment. All team members are assigned their own weapons. The SRT has access to Colt & Bushmaster rifles, Springfield handguns, and Remington shotguns to complete their missions. Also at their disposal are various less-than-lethal options. All team members receive continued extensive training in Close Quarters Battle techniques.
In December of 2004, the SRT took delivery of a new assault vehicle to assist in the execution of high risk situations. The vehicle is a 2005 Ford Econoline van with a variety of aftermarket accessories. The vehicle has 4-wheel capability and includes an 8,000 pound winch system. The vehicle was purchased with Homeland Security funds alloted by the Wood County Emergency Management Agency.
The team currently trains twice each month (approximately 10-12 hours). The SRT is a part-time team, and averages 18-24 call-outs per year.
In January 2005, Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn decided to expand the team to 24 members by May 2005. This was accomplished by inviting various law enforcement agencies within Wood County to participate in the SRT.
Citizens of Wood County can put their minds at ease knowing that a highly dedicated group of law enforcement officers are willing to protect them and put their own lives in danger when danger calls.
Sgt. Tim Spees