Rock Island Police Department Emergency Response Team gets rare training opportunity

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The Rock Island Police Department Emergency Response Team has 20 members from different divisions in the department. They are considered an elite team, training once a month for multiple scenarios including serving warrants, armed suspect apprehension, barricaded subjects, hostage rescue, protection service, counter-terrorism, and surveillance.

“We treat this training as very essential, very serious, that’s why we do it so often,” said Deputy Chief Jason Foy.

But rarely does the team get to train like they did on Thursday, November 14, 2013. They broke down doors, shot at targets and threw flash bangs. Their training ground was the Manor Homes Public Housing Property. The homes are scheduled to be demolished in the next several weeks.

“It’s good experience where we’re not having to worry about destruction on the property, that we can actually break stuff, which we do on normal search warrants that we don’t typically get to do in our training,” said Detective Chad Sowards.

According to the Rock Island Police Department Emergency Response Team website, candidates need to have a minimum of 2 years of law enforcement service. New members need to take 70 hours of Emergency Service Team Basic Training.