OSHP Special Response Team Visits Ashland For Training

  • 10/10/2018 10:04:18 PM
  • Joe Lyons
  • Local News

ASHLAND, OH -  The Ohio Highway Patrol's Special Response Team (SRT), also known as SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), came to Ashland on Wednesday morning for training. This elite Team of highly-trained Troopers was part of the Law Enforcement unit that hunted down and captured Fugitive Shawn Christy in a manhunt that lasted several days. Christy was one of many fugitives captured by this team.

When I asked Commander Scott Demmiitt of the Ohio Highway Patrol Special Response Team if his team was the unit they call when things went south, he replied "Yes, we cover the entire state. We respond anywhere in the state of Ohio.”

In April of 1990, under the directions of Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Thomas Rice, the Special Response Team was created. Out of nearly 1,800 OSHP troopers, only 26 were selected for the Special Response Team. In August of 2010, the Special Response Team transitioned into a full-time, full-service tactical unit. The move was due to the increase in calls for service, the ever-changing criminal environment, and the constant requests from outside agencies for mutual aid and assistance.

The unit is comprised of the tactical commander, an executive officer, and three eight-person squads consisting of a sergeant (squad leader) and seven troopers, for a total of 26 team members for a state-wide response.

The following is a list of some, but not all, of the responsibilities and duties this Unit has:

  • High-Risk Warrant Service,
  • Hostage Rescue,
  • Executive Protection,
  • Drug Raid Confiscations to include methamphetamine labs,
  • Prison Incident Response,
  • Vehicle Assaults (car, bus, plane),
  • Rappel Master Certified / Confined Space Recovery Explosive,
  • Ballistics,
  • and Mechanical Breaching Capabilities.

Some of the specialized equipment utilized by this team are Remington Eyeball cameras, thermal imagers, pole cameras, Millennium Sensors, night vision equipment, Quickie saws, and explosives. The vast majority of the equipment has been purchased through drug forfeiture accounts.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol's Special Response Team handles around 300 calls each year, including everything from incidents involving hostages, barricade situations, combined with serving over 800 arrest warrants per year.

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