Sadly, the Register-Star article was short on details. It explained that the goal of the grant program was "to strengthen anti-terrorism programs, enhance disaster readiness, and expand protections to critical infrastructure." It quoted David Bartlett, our county sheriff, who spoke of "active shooter events or other high risk counterterrorism missons" and "specialty services that are often lacking or absent." But there were no specifics about how the money was to be spent.
The $150,000 grant to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office will pay for training and equipment (ropes, climbing gear, litter baskets) "for the deployment of officers by rope." This may involve using ropes "to insert an officer into an upstairs window," to raise and lower a litter, or to rappel down a cliff in a rescue situation.
The $100,000 grant to the Greene County Sheriff's Office will spent on training--sending potential new members of the team to "Basic Operator's School," a boot camp that provides "rigorous training involving physical fitness, firearms proficiency, and decision making." The money will also be used to purchase standardized radios and headsets and maybe even a van to replace the old school bus HPD currently uses to transport the team.
Speaking of the Shared Services Response Team and the controversy that surrounded its creation, Moore commented:
Last year, a decision had to be made. I don't think we could we ever attain the standards required by the state to achieve our certification and maintain our own SWAT team. We had a choice: go without, and rely on other departments to deploy within Hudson, or team up in this shared services arrangement. I chose to join up with the Sheriffs. We have a smaller special services force than we used to, a higher level of training, a quicker deployment, all with less cost to the local taxpayer. It is a "win" across the board. Further, with this arrangement I remain in the command structure when it comes to decisions made within our city. In that decision-making process I bring the desires, sensitivities, and wishes of the people who live here. I have a sense of what kind of police action our residents will deem appropriate or excessive. That is my responsibility and what I will be held accountable for.
The formulation of the team occurred as our national discussion was focused on police shootings. We couldn't have picked a worse time, and people reacted viscerally. I truly believe when people learn the motives and analyze the facts, the whole effort will be more appreciated.COPYRIGHT 2016 CAROLE OSTERINK