The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) was established in 1987 under authority of the Sheriff to respond to emergency situations that may arise in the jails. Today, the Detention System is comprised of two jails, the Downtown Facility Bureau and the Jail Annex Bureau. The SRT is to provide the Detention System with disciplined, highly motivated, and well managed squads committed to the successful resolution of a crisis situation by the of use tactical and strategic operations conducted in the utmost regard for human life.
SRT is a voluntary unit, staffed by the Detention System Bureau Commanders, one Lieutenant, and six (6) squads that are each staffed with a Squad Leader, and 14 squad members. The squads are comprised of highly trained officers prepared to handle high risk situations that are outside the scope of regular Detention Officer’s functions. To become a squad member of this specialized team the Detention Officer must have at least one year of continuous service from their date of hire. The officer must pass a strenuous physical agility test and an oral board based on the Sheriff’s Office policy and procedures, emergency scenarios, and tactical skills. The selected officers will be activated to a squad and begin a highly specialized training program. Training is mandatory and continuous as long as the squad member is on the team.
Squad members are trained to respond to violent inmates, riots, and other emergency situations using the least amount of force necessary to control the situation. Some methods the squads use to maintain order are the one man cell extraction, cell assault, riot control, hallway clearing, vehicle assaults and bus evacuations. In addition to these physical methods, all members are trained in the use of specialized less than lethal weapons, chemical agents, and distraction devices.
The SRT is dedicated to support the Sheriff’s Office when called upon, and will work as a team in conjunction with other entities both within and outside this agency.