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Franklin's SRT is ready and waiting to serve the county

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Franklin County Times
The Franklin County Special Response Team had its first major operation Wednesday morning since its formation just over a year ago.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said that Wednesday's events are a prime example of why the Franklin County SRT is so important to law enforcement.
"I think they did an excellent job," Hargett said. "We were as prepared as our equipment will allow us to be."
SRT Commander Lt. Mike Prince said that everything went very smoothly, and that the team's main function is to make the scene safe.
"We had good cooperation between three different agencies, and things could not have gone smoother," Prince said.
He added that the heat was a major factor with everyone on the scene, and that even with frequent rotation, the officers had a difficult time dealing with high temperatures.
"When you have 60 pounds of equipment on, it's difficult to deal in those kinds of temperatures," Prince said.
Prince said that even though the heat was a major factor for calling in reinforcements from Florence and Muscle Shoals, it was not the only factor in that decision.
"We would have asked for help regardless of the temperatures because of the size of structure," Prince said.
He added that the SRT trains with Florence, Muscle Shoals and the FBI SWAT teams regularly so that they will be ready in the event they need to work together.
The Franklin County SRT team is made up of 16 members from various law enforcement agencies in the county including the Russellville Police Departnt, the Red Bay Police Department, the Franklin County District Attorney's Office, and the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.
The SRT team trains two times per month on different types of tasks so that they can be ready for any situation that should arise.
"I feel like we were well prepared," Deputy Commander Sgt. Scottie Belue said. "I feel like we can handle any situation that should arise."
Hargett and Prince both agree that the team is well- trained and capable of handling any type of situation.
"These are strictly volunteers and they are not paid other than overtime while working the scene," Hargett said. "We have to commend them [the team] for their work and dedication.