This afternoon, El Paso County Sheriff Joseph Roybal, Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell, and members of both the El Paso County and Teller County Sheriff’s Office celebrated the Special Response team graduation of 9 deputies from El Paso County and 1 deputy from Teller County. These ten highly qualified individuals took part in a 50-hour long course which included an oral board, grueling physical fitness training and an obstacle course, and classroom instruction time.
“As a former member of SRT, I am extremely proud of the time and hard work each of these individuals have dedicated towards this specialized training,” said Sheriff Joe Roybal. “SRT is a concept hatched out of necessity and forged into an essential part of our detention’s security. The training they received during the initial selection program, and subsequent training, ensures the El Paso County Jail is fully prepared to safely address critical or dangerous situations which may occur. Congratulations to our newest members of SRT, and special thanks to our SRT leadership and training staff for their dedication to this specialized team.”
History of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office SRT (Special Response Team)
In 1990 a jailhouse riot occurred at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Metro Detention Facility. Inmates assigned to Ward A2W (a 28-bed ward housing very violent offenders) accessed the door system and removed several heavy metal components. The inmates fashioned the components into weapons and began to threaten harm to staff and were a few minutes from being able to release the rest of the ward from their cells. Metro Floor Deputies requested assistance from CJC Deputies to quell the situation. In the process, three of the responding staff were cut, sliced, and one member was stabbed near his eye.
This incident identified a need for a team with specialized equipment and training to safely handle emergent situations within the facility. The idea of the Special Response Team was cultivated through this event.
Several of the staff members involved in the incident were tasked with purchasing equipment and implementing training to forge a team to assist with jail emergencies.
The responsibilities of the Team cover a large gamut of duties, which have expanded since the original implementation of the Team. Some of these include Forced Cell Extractions, Open Area Containment, Riot Control, Mental Health Pick Ups, High Risk Extraditions and Transports, High Risk Jury Trials and Site Visits, and supplemental duties to the SWAT Team.