The Erie County Sheriff’s office Special Emergency Response Team, or SERT, is an elite unit consisting of members from various divisions within the office. Like most law enforcement agencies, the team is considered a “part-time” unit, made up of volunteer personnel who perform their regular duties in addition to their SERT duties. Deputies who wish to be part of the team must go through a 48 hours of basic SERT school that tests their physical ability, mental ability and shooting skills.
The SERT team conducts training twice a month. The trainings include various subjects, including dynamic entries, hostage rescue, slow and deliberate searching, and firearms proficiency. In addition to the tactical training, physical training is also conducted during training sessions.
Team members have on-call status and need to be ready to go in a moment’s notice. The team is used to execute high-risk search warrants, high-risk arrests, barricaded persons, hostage situations or any civil unrest events. In addition, the team provides support for the other law enforcement agencies within Erie County that may include school or workplace shooting situations, armed barricade situations, simultaneous service of multiple search warrants, outdoor searches for fugitives and dignitary protection details.