Sgt. Everett L. Jenkins
The SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) team is an integral component of the Emergency Response Organization along with the Tactical Operations Center, Crisis Negotiation Team and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squad. The SWAT team consists of the SWAT Commander, two team leaders who each supervise an entry/rescue team, a four-man sniper/observer component and two medical personnel.
The SWAT team is a collateral duty unit staffed by deputies from Road Patrol, Special Operations and Criminal Investigations Division on an on-call basis. SWAT team membership is a voluntary, extra duty assignment. The SWAT team is comprised of individuals highly dedicated to their duties and take pride in being the last line of defense for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
The mission of the SWAT team is to handle high-risk operations in a manner that reduces the chance of violence, injury or death. The SWAT team is activated to train each month and once a year for a full week with specific training for its duties. The week long training session has become known as SWAT Week.
The need for SWAT expertise and assistance with warrant service is called on when:
- Unusual circumstances beyond the capabilities of normal warrant service exist
- Locations are heavily fortified
- Weapons are present and have been used in the past
- Gang members are known to be present
- Use of diversionary tactics is anticipated
- No-knock door ram entry is anticipated.
SWAT handles unusual operational activities including hostage incidents, barricaded suspects, armed barricaded suspects, service of high risk warrants, civil disturbances, suicidal subjects, mental subjects, man-hunt operations, sniper attacks, VIP protection and any other high-risk tactical incident.
The SWAT team is regularly called upon by other law enforcement agencies and municipalities outside of Richmond County and part of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) Region 3 to assist those agencies with unusual operational activities and high-risk tactical incidents. The SWAT team has provided support in Burke County, Jefferson County, McDuffie County and has assisted Athens-Clarke County. The Richmond County SWAT team is also the responding tactical team for Fort Gordon and Plant Vogtle.