IPD assembling special response team

Published 12:29 am Sunday, December 29, 2013

From undercover drug buys to serving felony warrants, the Ironton Police Department is stepping up law enforcement in the city.

For about a year and a half, officers have been training for SWAT certification for a new special response team. So far, five have completed the training with four more closely behind.

Detective Mitch Crum is one of those officers who has completed certification and said the SRT will aim to cover all major crimes in the city.

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“We do all crimes,” Crum said. “We are hitting everything. This will be the team you see hit the schools and do home searches.”

In the event there is a school shooting or an armed suspect on a school bus, the SRT has trained to know what to do.

“As a group we have been training two times a month for the past year,” Crum said.

Certification requires about 65 to 80 hours of training and the team has continuing training and education of about 16 hours a month, which includes semiautomatic firearms training.

Detective Joe Ross said the training is staggered to allow for some officers to train while others remain on duty.

The SRT also has a certified hostage negotiator and a breacher, the one who uses force to gain entry. Two other members are soon to be certified as weapons training instructors who will work each year to qualify the officers on their weapons as mandated by the state.

Since the SRT training began, Crum said some local businesses have donated to help purchase equipment. Sam’s Club donated $1,000 and IPD applied for a grant, which paid for breaching equipment such as a ballistic shield, door ram, bolt cutter and a sledge hammer.

The City of Ironton also donated funds for ballistic vests and helmets.

Crum and Ross said they hope the SRT can help eliminate the street and drug crimes that have plagued the city.

“Now what we hope to do is get some informants involved and get search warrants and hit it and try to put a stop to all this drug use,” Crum said.

“Anything we can do, we are going to do,” Ross said.