Emergency Response Team

In the early 1990’s the Peterborough Police Service recognized the need for a part time containment team as part of the Adequacy Standards set out by the Ontario Government within the Police Services Act.

An eight member team was created and equipped for containment purposes only. Since then, the mandate has been expanded to become an Emergency Response Team (ERT) to meet the increasing demands of the Peterborough Police Service.

 

Two members of the Emergency Response Team walking through the Peterborough marina.
  • Duties of the Team include high risk warrant service, barricaded persons, search tactics, crowd control, negotiations and other high risk situations outside the duties of frontline officers.
  • The members typically respond as a Team, although individual members have special skills  that contribute to the success of the Team as a whole.  These officers are on call 24 hrs a day, 356 days a year.
  • ERT members are continually training as a team, individually, and with other agencies to enhance their skill level and meet the provincial standards.
  • Standards are met yearly in fitness, firearms proficiency, less than lethal devices, sniper, and entry techniques. ERT members are a group of highly motivated individuals that devote many of their on and off duty hours to ensure an extremely successful team.

2016 Overview: 

 
In 2016, the Emergency Response Team (ERT) responded to 30 calls for service requiring activation of a full team of members. One of the warrants executed was for the Toronto Police Service in Brampton at the completion of a project. Multiple tactical units from across the province were used on that date.
This does not include the everyday calls for service, ( i.e.: Canine back up for tracking of persons, elevated mental health calls, alarm calls and calls involving potential armed persons that are handled in uniform).
ERT has assisted in the execution of 12 high risk CDSA warrants for the Drug unit.
The following is a summary of the dates and a brief description of the incident during which the Emergency Response Team was utilized in 2016:
1. On March 15, 2016 members of ERT executed a CDSA search warrant at a Park Street, Peterborough, residence.
2. On March 18, 2016 members of ERT executed a CDSA search warrant at a Dalhousie Street, Peterborough, residence.
3. On March 21, 2016 ERT members responded to a fictitious swatting/kidnapping call that was determined to have originated in California.
4. On March 24, 2016 members of ERT executed a high risk arrest of a male subject at a Hayes Line residence in Cavan.
5. On April 8, 2016 members of ERT executed a CDSA search warrant at a Bolivar Street, Peterborough, residence.
6. On May 5, 2016 members of ERT executed a CDSA search warrant at a London Street, Peterborough, residence.
7. On June 2, 2016 members of ERT assisted Toronto Police Service and executed a Criminal Code search warrant for weapons trafficking at a Brampton residence.
8. On June 15, 2016 members of ERT executed a Criminal Code search warrant for firearms at a residence on Highway 7 in Cavan.
9. On July 20, 2016 members of ERT executed a Criminal Code search warrant for stolen property at a residence on Bethune Street, Peterborough.
10. On July 22, 2016 ERT members responded to a fictitious swatting/kidnapping call at a residence on Center Street, Peterborough.
11. On July 22, 2016 members of ERT were deployed in downtown Peterborough in a passive manner as a precautionary measure during the Black Lives Matters Rally.
12. On August 31, 2016 ERT was utilized to conduct a high risk vehicle stop and arrest of a male subject. Subsequently, ERT members conducted a ground search and located a loaded handgun.
13. On September 15, 2016 ERT members were deployed to make a high risk arrest of a male subject at a Water Street, Peterborough, residence.
14. On October 11, 2016 ERT was deployed to a home invasion robbery at a residence on Regent Street, Lakefield.
15. On October 27, 2016 ERT was deployed to a high risk court security detail at Superior Court for the high profile case involving Pierre Aragon.
16. On November 14, 2016 ERT was again deployed to a high risk court security detail at Superior Court for the case involving Pierre Aragon.
17. On November 22, 2016 ERT executed a high risk vehicle stop and arrest of a male subject.
18. On November 22, 2016 members of ERT executed a Criminal Code search warrant for firearms at a residence on Carlisle Avenue, Peterborough.
19. On November 23, 2016 ERT was deployed to a high risk court security detail at Provincial Court for the case involving a high risk offender.
20. On December 5, 2016 ERT was deployed to a high risk court security detail at Superior Court for case involving Pierre Aragon.
21. On December 6, 2016 ERT was deployed to a high risk court security detail at Superior Court for case involving Pierre Aragon.
22. On December 9, 2016 ERT was deployed to a high risk court security detail at Superior Court for case involving Pierre Aragon.
23. On December 10, 2016 ERT executed a high risk vehicle stop and arrest of a male subject.
24. On December 10, 2016 members of ERT executed a Criminal Code search warrant for firearms at a residence on Garside Drive, Peterborough.
25. On December 15, 2016 ERT was deployed to execute an entry at a Raymond Street, Peterborough, residence as part of the Project takedown for the ICAD Unit.
26. On December 15, 2016 ERT was deployed to execute an entry at a Parkhill Road, Peterborough, residence as part of the Project takedown for the ICAD Unit.
27. On December 15, 2016 ERT was deployed to execute an entry at an Aylmer Street North, Peterborough, residence as part of the Project takedown for the ICAD Unit.
28. On December 15, 2016 ERT was deployed to execute an entry at a Parkhill Road, Peterborough, residence as part of the Project takedown for the ICAD Unit.
29. On December 15, 2016 ERT was deployed to execute an entry at a Bethune Street, Peterborough, residence as part of the Project takedown for the ICAD Unit.
30. On December 16, 2016 ERT was deployed to a high risk court security detail at Superior Court for case involving Pierre Aragon.

The warrants executed for the ICAD Unit were based on the efforts of the ICAD Unit and fit the criteria where the threat level to members was elevated based on intelligence gathered, previous violent history of subjects, their propensity to use weapons to protect their trade, and fortifications of the subjects address. As a result of the threat level, the use of ERT was recommended to execute these warrants due to the ERT Unit’s higher level of training and protective equipment.
All of the preceding incidents had their threat levels assessed and as a result, the use of ERT was recommended in the interest of police and public safety due to a higher level of training and protective equipment possessed by the ERT Unit.
Training and Equipment
In 2016 the ERT spent approximately total 1,800 hours training.
ERT did not attend the annual Ontario Tactical Advisory Board (OTAB) Conference in 2016 due to various other commitments of members to training that had to be conducted in Peterborough on the 2 noted dates. Two training days were maintained locally in order to ensure that the 2 allotted days were utilized for meaningful training.
ERT members attended 11 training days in 2016. Two training days were postponed due to operational requirements. Unfortunately ERT members were unable to make up those days.
A Sergeant from ERT attended 2 shifts with Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) Hostage Rescue Unit (HRU) and was deployed as a normal member of the team during the noted shifts in Durham. This was conducted for training purposes in order to align ERT with DRPS Tactical procedures as they are the backup to Peterborough in the event of a hostage situation or protracted containment incident.
A Sergeant also attended the City of Ottawa and was able to work a shift with the Ottawa Police Service Tactical Unit at that time. This once again was to gain further knowledge and absorb various tactics and updates for training to be brought back to ERT in Peterborough.
The above noted shifts with other services were approved and fully endorsed by the Inspector in charge of Operations. These training opportunities with other police services have proven to be invaluable in the amount of knowledge that can be gained in a short period of time.
Ottawa Tactical also agreed to provide continuous training opportunities with a former member who is now with Peterborough Police Service and is a trained bomb technician. Durham Regional Police Service Tactical Unit has also offered and is very open to assisting in maintaining training with their bomb technicians.
A hostage scenario training day was completed during the month of September in Cavan on a rural property. This was organized by ERT and involved Incident Commanders, Negotiators, Tech Officers, Patrol Sergeants, Auxiliary members and ERT. This is mandated training under adequacy and standards. Unfortunately this training day did not include High Risk Unit from DRPS due to conflicting schedules.
The ERT is responsible for calls for service in Cavan Monaghan as well as Lakefield and generated 3 calls in 2016 (1 in Lakefield and 2 in Cavan). During one of the calls for service in Cavan it became quite apparent that night vision capabilities needed to be considered immediately for ERT as well as some updated radio equipment. Administration and the Board were supportive of these requests for consideration and night vision will be purchased in 2017.
ERT is hopefully going to have another member trained as a crisis negotiator as currently there are only two trained members on the team. Previous years have had at least half the team trained in crisis negotiations. There may be an opportunity to have a member attend the accredited course in early 2017 in Ottawa.
There has been a discussion to have our 2 current snipers attend DRPS on a regular basis to maintain minimum qualifications and training with DRPS snipers on an annual basis. This will enhance their skills and ability to be able to train with a full time team.
DRPS had their tactical officers attend Peterborough and conduct a half day of training with ERT concerning cell extraction. This was conducted at the Peterborough Court House. It is anticipated that ERT members will be conducting some training to court officers and staff in 2017.
There were 40 rifles obtained from the Canadian military in late 2016 and they were all tested and outfitted properly by ERT members at the local range. They will be deployed to members on the frontline and in specialized units in the very near future.
The following is a breakdown of the calls involving the Emergency Response Team in the previous 4 years:

In 2011 ERT responded to 21 calls for service, 8 of which were high risk CDSA warrants.
In 2012 ERT responded to 30 calls for service, 15 of which were high risk CDSA warrants.
In 2013 ERT responded to 30 calls for service, 13 of which were high risk CDSA warrants.
In 2014 ERT responded to 23 calls for service, 4 of which were high risk CDSA warrants.
In 2015 ERT responded to 33 calls for service, 5 of which were high risk CDSA warrants.
Throughout 2016, ERT responded to 30 calls for service, 12 of which were CDSA warrants.

In the last 5 years ERT has been responding to 20-30 calls for service a year.

Deployment of ERT Members
ERT members on regular patrol on platoon currently consist of 5 (2 Sergeants and 3 Constables).
There are currently 3 ERT members assigned to Community Services.
There are currently 4 ERT members in CIU. (2 Street Crime, 1 Sex Unit, 1 Major Crime)
Often times there are 6 to 7 ERT members working dayshift and supervisors need to always consider contacting and deploying these members when high risk calls for service are received.
In 2015, the Emergency Response Team (ERT) members responded to 33 calls for service that have required the activation of off duty ERT members. This does include the everyday calls for service, (i.e.: Canine back up for tracking of persons, elevated mental health calls, alarm calls and calls involving potential armed persons that are handled in uniform). ERT is currently forming a tracking system to record these calls requiring the response of immediate on duty officers in ERT.