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SRT asset to law enforcement

By Staff
Melissa Cason
The Franklin County Special Response Team (SRT) recently held their annual selection process for new members.
The team is a multi-jurisdictional team made up of officers from the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, Russellville Police Department, Russellville Fire Department and Red Bay Police Department, and is a vital part of the county's law enforcement community.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said the team is necessary because it keeps patrol officers from entering into high-risk situations such as a standoff or hostage situation.
"In this day and time, the criminals are getting smarter, and they are getting more dangerous," Hargett said.
Hargett said the team is beneficial to the county, and that the county is lucky to have officers who are willing to go through the extra training in order to be certified in different areas of tactics.
"If we didn't have SRT, we would have patrol officers dealing with high-risk situations, which might drain our local resources, or we'd have to wait to get help from an out-of-county agency," Hargett said.
He said since the team has been organized, it has been called out on several different details including the Fred's incident in Aug. 2007.
Red Bay Police Chief Pat Creel agrees with Hargett on the need for the team.
"We don't like to admit it, but we don't live in Mayberry anymore," Creel said.
"Nobody wants to think about the dangers that are possible."
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said he has seen the SRT go into very dangerous situations in order to serve a search warrant or make high-risk arrests.
"During the years since the team has been organized, there have been several situations I believe because the SRT got involved that there were no injuries or death as a result of the well-trained officers being able to keep situations from getting out of hand," Rushing said.