Since 1990, the Rapid City Police Department and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office combined resources to form the Special Response Team (SRT). The team is the largest tactical team in South Dakota.
The team can be called to the most trying and hazardous situations law enforcement officers and citizens can encounter. As the only major tactical team in western South Dakota, and the largest team of its kind in the state, the SRT assists area cities and counties when necessary.
The SRT responds to a variety of calls, including:
- Barricaded and armed suspects
- Hostage incident where suspect may be armed
- Sniper incidents
- Serving of arrest and search warrants on felony suspects when intelligence indicates suspects may be armed or extremely dangerous
- Working with the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team for warrant service
- Serving of arrest/search warrants on misdemeanor suspects when there is information to believe the suspect may be armed or that the service of the warrant presents a substantial risk to those serving the warrant
- Technical and VIP security
- At the request of other law enforcement agencies experiencing any of the above situations
Each group member is assigned specific responsibilities for a variety of situations. For example, the Entry and Sniper elements train at least 8 hours per month and are prepared to handle nearly any situation at a moment’s notice.
The SRT’s ultimate objective is to successfully resolve any incident it is faced with. It is the team’s philosophy to resolve the incident utilizing all tools at our disposal and use only the amount of force necessary to ensure the safety of the public.
Over the past several years, the SRT has assisted in more than 30 calls involving execution of high-risk drug search warrants, barricaded and suicidal subjects, the arrest of known members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Gang, and Dignitary Protection for John Walsh, Ehud Barak (Former Prime Minister of Israel), Benazir Bhutto (Former Prime Minister of Pakistan), and a variety of congressional dignitaries.