Special Response Team
The Mission of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team (SRT) is to bring a successful conclusion to critical high-risk situations, through the use of specially equipped and highly trained personnel, in such a fashion as to minimize the risk of harm to the citizens of our community, law enforcement personnel, and suspects.
In 1997, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office created a Special Response Team to deal with critical high-risk incidents. The tactical team has the responsibility of answering to sensitive, potentially life-threatening situations utilizing specialized equipment and tactics to resolve them in as peaceful a manner as possible. This responsibility requires a great deal of training and readiness. Some situations may include: high-risk search and arrest warrant service, hostage rescue, and building searches for dangerous suspects.
The unit is prepared to assume full control of specific tactical situations which, by nature, would be considered excessively dangerous and complex, or which would require the use of a specialized team effort, rather than independent action by individual officers. The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office maintains trained hostage/crisis negotiators in a separately assigned function.
The SRT Team trains regularly in special weapons and tactics. The team also trains with other tactical units associated with fellow local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
The members of the Special Response Team are assigned to different divisions of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office as their primary duty assignment. Being an active member of the Special Response Team is a secondary assignment for which all members must be a fully qualified and certified law enforcement officer in the State of North Carolina and must remain highly proficient with firearms and tactics used by the Special Response Team.
Members of the Special Response Team, with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, are selected from those deputies who volunteer for the responsibility and meet the team requirements. Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team members are on call twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week.
In March of 1997, under the leadership of Sheriff Dale B. Furr, the Richmond County Special Response Team was formed. This team was made up of 12 members from the three different agencies within Richmond County, being the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Rockingham Police Department, and the Hamlet Police Department. Sheriff Furr called on Chief Eddie Martin of the Rockingham Police Department and Chief Terry Moore of the Hamlet Police Department to discuss the need for such a team in Richmond County, but due to the lack of manpower within any individual agency, it would be a combined team from members of all three agencies. The Special Response Team would consist of a 12-member team, two six-man teams, with four other men from all three agencies serving as Hostage Negotiators, and the team commander was chosen from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. On this team, each member was outfitted with their issued sidearm, 12 gauge pump-action shotgun, and 2 Remington bolt action rifles, while the body armor worn was their issued soft armor that they worn each day while on duty.
Over the years, the agencies involved have grown and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and Rockingham Police Department have been able to form individual teams, but have worked and trained together over these years. The original team was uniformed with US Military Surplus that was obtained from Law Enforcement Support Services or other Military supply companies; however, due to new technology and modern advances in equipment, the SRT has been able to outfit its members with more modern equipment that allows them a better opportunity to complete whatever their operation may be. Now, through the advances in training and equipment, the Richmond County Special Response Team has been allowed the ability and experience to successfully complete multiple search warrants for narcotics, both on a state and federal level, and also assist in the apprehension of many fugitives from justice and negotiate many situations that have resulted in peaceful resolutions that could have ended tragically for those involved.