Have you ever been involved in a prison riot? If you were put in that situation would you know what to do? Would you have the right gear to protect yourself? HWI Gear is proud to have contributed products for the El Paso Special Response Team training this month. The guards that participated in this amazing event wore the KTS100 inside the “mock riot” in order to train a group of Brazilian teams to prepare for the upcoming Olympics. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) was established in 1987 under authority of the Sheriff to respond to emergency situations that may arise in the jails.
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 born. Lt. Billiard was one of the staff members involved in the incident. He, along with Lt. R. Larson, and Sgt. R.O. Smith were tasked with purchasing equipment and implementing training to forge a team to assist with jail emergencies. Some of the other founding members of the team are recognizable staff members such as Chief R. McDonald, Commander T. DeLuca, and Sgt. J. Whitney.
The responsibilities of the Team cover a large gambit 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.
To be selected for SRT you must successfully complete an oral board, a grueling fitness and obstacle course, and a 50 hour basic academy.
HWI Gear could not be more proud to have been selected as the exclusive brand representative for the trainers.