POLICE RAID: What & Who Are SERT?
After a high profile use of force to conduct a search warrant in Des Moines, Ankeny police and the members of SERT have come under increased scrutiny. But what is SERT?
What: SERT stands for Suburban Emergency Response Team.
Members: The team is comprised of law enforcement departments from Altoona, Ankeny, Clive, Johnston, Urbandale and West Des Moines.
When: In mid-2010, the metro cities agreed to consolidate the part-time police tactical teams formed by the cities of Urbandale and West Des Moines to “provide specialized tactical and crisis negotiation responses to critical incidents and high risk situations.” Ankeny signed the agreement on May 3, 2010.
Who: Members from the various law enforcement agencies make up the team led by commander Sgt. Royal Kerchee. SERT is made up of entry teams, a crisis intervention team, snipers and a medical team. Ankeny police has five members assigned to SERT including two snipers, two entry team members and one hostage negotiator.
Liability: Each member’s agency is responsible and has liability for the officers in SERT.
How long: The current agreement is set to expire June 30, 2015.