Red River Valley SWAT Team
The purpose of the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Team is to provide a highly trained unit of police personnel to respond to tactical and high-risk incidents.
The Red River Valley SWAT Team responds to incidents in Cass and Clay counties. It currently consists of approximately 26 members. These personnel are from the Cass County Sheriff's Office, Clay County Sheriff's Office, West Fargo Police Department, Moorhead Police Department, NDSU, and the Fargo Police Department.
The Red River Regional Bomb Squad, the Negotiations Unit and the Tactical Emergency Medical Service (TEMS) are all components of the SWAT Team and provide critical support functions.
Red River Valley Regional Bomb Squad
RRVRBS is comprised of eight members. The members include two officers from the Fargo Police Department, two from the West Fargo Police Department, one from the Moorhead Police Department, one from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, one from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and one the from NDSU Police Department.
The RRVRBS was started in 1976 with the main purpose of assisting the community and law enforcement agencies in the education, location and disposal of all energetic materials.
The Bomb Squad has three priorities:
- Preservation of life
- Preservation of Property
- Preservation of Evidence
SWAT Negotiations Unit
The Red River Valley SWAT Negotiations Unit is comprised of nine negotiators, eight officers and one sergeant/team leader. The members include three officers from the Fargo Police Department, two from the West Fargo Police Department, two from the Moorhead Police Department, one deputy from Clay County Sheriff's Department and two deputies from Cass County Sheriff's Department. The unit joined the SWAT team in the fall of 2000. Each negotiator has received training in advanced negotiation methods and is selected based on communication and listening skills. Every member is an experienced officer who brings professionalism and compassion to these roles. Training is conducted on a quarterly basis in conjunction with the tactical support members of the team.
The main purpose of the team is to provide a person that the suspect will see as a safe solution in a crisis. We can communicate by phone/cell phone, a "direct-link" portable phone thrown to the suspect, or by means of a "face-to-face" encounter. We truly hope that by listening to the suspect, we can guide everyone involved out safely.
Tactical Emergency Medical Service (TEMS)
Medical support is provided by a team of paramedics assigned to Red River Valley SWAT. Six paramedics, one from Sanford Hospital Life Flight and three from F-M Ambulance, work under the direction of an emergency physician from Sanford Health and provide Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS). TEMS has been a part of the S.W.A.T. team since its inception.
TEMS responsibilities include injury control, preventive medicine, monitoring officers' health during training and incidents and health maintenance. The medics train and deploy with the SWAT team and provide on-site medical support for law enforcement, suspects, hostages and bystanders in an unpredictable, sometimes hostile, tactical environment.
The medics have special training in many areas including tactics, building clearing, firearms operations, bullet wounds, defensive tactics, handcuffing/searching, rappelling, K-9 medicine and clandestine lab awareness.
TEMS is a tool used to help the SWAT team meet its law enforcement and public safety objectives.