Thursday, July 11, 2013
The lengthy standoff in Wichita requiring help from neighboring law enforcement agencies.
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton told KAKE news Wichita police asked for help to which, "Of course, we said yes."
Sheriff Walton oversees Harvey County's "Emergency Response Team" or ERT, which is what they call their SWAT team.
The team of approximately 12 members from Newton Police, Harvey County Sheriff's Office and one Newton firefighter responded about 5 p.m. Wednesday. Walton said they worked all night and didn't return to Newton until about 9 a.m. Thursday.
He said it gave Wichita units a chance to rest.
"Wichita's SWAT was on scene for a long time. Down there it was very hot and they were just getting wore out. So they needed some assistance."
Walton said Reno and Sumner counties also responded.
Of these SWAT teams Walton said, "They're highly trained individuals. They all either belong to a police agency or a sheriff's office. However, they get specialized training, a lot of it because they're going to run into situations a lot different than the normal run of the mill call."
Of this particular standoff Walton said, "This is normal, standard. However, on this particular one the reports were that the suspect involved is shooting at SWAT members. That increases the level of things. I don't know where the shots went but we know they were shooting at SWAT members so it changes the dynamics."
Walton used to be a hostage negotiator for the ERT when he was with the Newton Police Department.
He said the various teams train together, therefore able to work together when called to respond in another jurisdiction.
Walton said there have been occasions when Harvey County and Newton have needed help from Wichita's SWAT team. Walton said, "All the counties will assist with each other because you need all the resources you can at times."