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 initially 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.
- In 2019 the team consisted of 12 members our of Service drawn from various unit.
- 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.
Our Emergency Response Team (ERT) consists of 12 members of our Service drawn from various units including Community Services, Criminal Investigations Unit and Community Patrol.
These officers are on call 24/7/365. Being a member of ERT is in addition to the officer’s regular frontline duties. Duties of the team include search tactics, high-risk warrants, barricaded persons, negotiations and crowd management.
In 2019 ERT was involved in a multitude of calls and scenarios. This does not include the everyday calls for service such as Canine back-up for tracking purposes, elevated mental health calls, alarm calls and calls involving potentially armed and violent persons that are handled by ERT members on daily uniform patrol.
ERT was involved in 31 plus team callouts or details in 2019. The incidents 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. During these noted incidents in 2019, there were several attempts to discard evidence, subjects attempted to run from the buildings as police executed warrants and firearms were seized.
Further, team members responded to or dealt with several other calls for service throughout the year that were not a full team callout or search warrants for the Criminal Investigations Unit.
ERT assisted in the execution of 17 high risk warrants for the ICAD (Intelligence, Crime Analyst, Asset Forfeiture and Drug) Unit and the Durham Regional Police Service, eight high risk vehicle/pedestrian stops/takedowns and six major incident command barricaded person type calls for service.
ERT members attended 14 training days in 2019 which equates to approximately 1,800 hours of training.
Although ERT members consistently maintain a high level of fitness and constantly train and test together, in 2019 ERT members once again completed annual fitness training with qualified instructors. The results for the 12 members gave the team an average of 97%, with the lowest score for an individual member being 91.5 %.
In 2019 ERT initiated an application process to replace two outgoing ERT members due to their tenure on the team. A total of 12 applicants began the process which was eventually narrowed down to the three successful candidates.
ERT also researched and developed a TacMed program that was endorsed by both the Chief of Police and the Chief of Paramedics.
Two information sessions were presented to interested paramedics in May. The program moved ahead and at the end of December had been narrowed to seven applicants for four positions. These positions will be confirmed and filled in 2020 with two more to be added in 2021.
ERT members completed numerous training initiatives across the Province of Ontario in various disciplines to hone and enhance their skills.
The Canine Unit has become an integral part of ERT and it is very seldom that they are not involved on ERT calls. They were consistently invited and attended training with ERT.
In 2020, it is anticipated that the TacMed Program will proceed and be up and running by May.