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 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.

Two members of the Emergency Response Team posing in a park for photo.

 

  • In 2018 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.

2018 Overview: 

The Emergency Response Team (ERT) was involved in 18 plus team callouts or details in 2018.  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 Police Service’s Investigative Services Unit.  ERT assisted in the execution of 6 high risk warrants for the Police Service’s Intelligence/Crime Analyst/Drugs (ICAD) unit, two high risk vehicle/pedestrian stops/takedowns, and two barricaded person calls.

This does not include the everyday calls for service such as K9 back up for tracking purposes, elevated mental health calls, alarm calls and calls involving potential armed and violent persons that are handled in uniform. Two members of ERT are currently assigned to the Community Services unit and they often responded to calls for service on a daily basis, as they were readily available and consistently monitor their police radios and have their kit with them throughout the day.

Two of the below noted warrants executed were in cooperation with the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS). These were criminal code warrants related to a shooting (homicide) investigation that was unsolved, but had two suspects along with an outstanding firearm and ammunition. DRPS tactical did not have enough members to execute these warrants without the assistance of Peterborough’s ERT. Two warrants were successfully completed without any issues or injuries and a firearm of interest, along with drugs and cash were recovered.

The following are dates and a brief description of incidents the ERT responded to:

Date Type Address
2018 Conducted tracks with K9 on duty during regular patrol shifts on all 4 platoons
24 Jan 18 Daylight article search looking for casings following a shooting incident Dalhousie St
14 Feb 18 High Risk Takedown.  Loaded handgun & drugs George Street
21 Feb 18 High Risk Search Warrant for Heroine/Cocaine Park St S
26 Feb 18 CEW (Taser) deployment George St
9 Mar 18 Barricaded Standoff Stenson Blvd
12 Mar 18 Trent Potential Protest Trent University
5 Jun 18 High Risk warrant Hunter Street
17 JUL 18 Search warrant with ICAD Water St
18 SEP 18 Drug search warrant Hunter St E
27 SEP 18 High risk suspect takedown (gun) Dixon St
5 OCT 18 Criminal Code search warrant, gun, with Durham Police Oshawa
8 OCT 18 Barricaded and suicidal female Milroy Ave
23 OCT 18 Ground search for missing elderly person Hilliard St
25 OCT 18 Drug search warrant Morrow St
31 OCT 18 High risk encounter with a male Fisher Dr
6 DEC 18 Drug search warrant Burnham St

 

The above noted 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, and fortifications of the subject’s address. During these noted incidents in 2018, there were several attempts to discard evidence, subjects attempted to run from the buildings as police executed warrants and firearms were seized.

In February 2018, two new members were selected for ERT to replace members whose tenure on the team ended.  Both members were outfitted with equipment and assigned to attend the Basic Tactical Officers Course in Waterloo, Ontario for 5 weeks.

ERT members attended 12 training days in 2018.  Total hours spent committed to training for all ERT members was approximately 1,800 hours for 2018.

ERT night vision was of assistance on various calls involving searches at night for missing persons and on K9 tracks and was of great assistance for officer safety and locating persons.  ERT members required and utilized night vision on no less than four calls for service in 2018. Members of ERT also utilized the night vision units several times while working regular uniform patrol.

The following is a breakdown of the calls involving the Emergency Response Team in the previous 5 years:

2018 – 18

2017 – 35

2016 – 30

2015 – 33

2014 – 23

The Year Ahead

Training for ERT members will continue to be essential through 2019.