Henry County Emergency Response Team

The Henry County Emergency Response Team, or ERT, is a highly trained and skilled team of law enforcement officers from all across the county. The ERT provides a tactical response to emergency situations including, but not limited to, armed and/or barricaded subjects, fugitive apprehension, and search warrants. Team members receive training in hostage negotiations, building entry and search, and specialized weapons and tactics. The ERT is available to assist all law enforcement agencies in Henry County and the surrounding area 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Types of Calls

Barricaded Subjects - A type of call where a person who has either committed a crime or is to be taken into custody for other reasons has barricaded themselves in their home, refused to allow themselves to be taken into custody, and given some indication they have armed themselves.

Hostage Calls - Any call in which people have been taken hostage.

High Risk Warrant Service - E.R.T. assists investigators in the service of search and arrest warrants where information has been received that the subject of the warrant is armed or is a previous violent offender.

 

One of the reasons E.R.T. units, S.W.A.T. units and other specialized tactical response units have developed across the country is the need for officers to be able to deploy a wide variety of special tools and skills to volatile situations so that the police have a greater chance of resolving these situations without a great use of force. Some of the special tools the E.R.T. uses are ballistic shields, diversion devices, specialty impact munitions, night vision equipment, special tools to force entry into locked buildings and tear gas deployment.

Crisis Negotiators are also part of the Emergency Response Team. Three officers are trained as negotiators and respond with the emergency team to resolve critical incidents through negotiations.

The E.R.T. team is committed to the peaceful resolution of dangerous occurrences. The officers on the team are highly trained professionals who are able to bring a wide variety of skills and tools to play in order to resolve serious incidents without using deadly force.

Current team members are from the Henry County Sheriff's Office, the Kewanee Police Department, the Geneseo Police Department, and the Colona Police Department.