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Departments » Sheriff

Emergency Response Unit (ERU) / SWAT Team

Since 1972, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, has served the community by responding to and mitigating high-risk incidents. The unit is comprised of specially trained and dedicated officers from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Ashwaubenon Public Safety, De Pere Police Department and Oneida Police Department, the SWAT team is on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Brown County SWAT team is also fortunate to have 2 County Rescue paramedics trained in Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS) and a volunteer doctor to accompany the team on operations.

In order to become a member of the team, officers must meet stringent physical fitness, problem solving, weapons proficiency, and peer review qualifications. Once accepted to the SWAT team, operators are given additional training and assigned to a position with the entry, perimeter, or sniper teams.

By utilizing sound tactics, strong leadership, and a team approach, the SWAT team is best able to act as a life-preserving tool to achieve a successful conclusion to critical incidents. By deploying SWAT officers on high-risk incidents, tactical operators are given a myriad of options that are not ordinarily available to other divisions within the Sheriff’s Office. These options allow law enforcement to make better informed decisions, increasing the likelihood of a peaceful resolution. As with any high-functioning team, SWAT trains regularly and stays on the cutting edge of the latest tactics and techniques. Incidents such as high-risk warrant service, hostage situations, barricaded suspects, and dignitary protection are normally the types of call-outs that SWAT responds to. Operators train an average of 12 hours per month at various locations throughout the Brown County area. As a multi-jurisdictional team, SWAT has a good working relationship with the municipalities in Brown County and neighboring areas. It is not uncommon for the Brown County SWAT team to be called upon to lend tactical support to neighboring teams with incidents in their jurisdictions.

From a Homeland Security perspective, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team continues to work more closely with other agencies’ tactical teams, such as Green Bay Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations, in a new statewide initiative to form regional ALERT teams. An acronym for Aligned Law Enforcement Response Team, ALERT teams are guided by the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance and seek to deliver enhanced capabilities through specialized equipment, advanced tactics, and a highly coordinated response. Such an emphasis on interoperability with other agencies translates into greater preparedness for large scale critical incidents such as a terrorist attack.

The Brown County SWAT team routinely works with other specialized teams/agencies such as the Brown/Outagamie Bomb Squad, K9 Unit, the Brown County Drug Task Force, and County Rescue Eagle III Aerial Support.

The SWAT team is currently supervised by Lt. Thomas Zeigle (Commander).
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