The mission of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department's Strategic Response Team (SRT) is to resolve dangerous, or potentially dangerous, situations using advanced tactics and tools, which help to increase the likelihood for a safe outcome for all persons involved. In striving to achieve our mission, SRT members are provided advanced training and special equipment to respond to incidents that are beyond the scope of the average police officer or investigator.
Historically, in Athens-Clarke County, the most common type of incident requiring the SRT's response has been a barricaded gunman situation. However, team members are also trained to resolve a wide a range of other incidents including, but not limited to, hostage situations, high risk warrant service, and the apprehension of violent wanted persons.
To become a member of the SRT, eligible officers must successfully complete a rigorous selection process. The selection process tests physical fitness abilities, critical thinking abilities, and firearm skills. It concludes with an oral interview board. If accepted to the team, members attend regular monthly training in-house. Team members also often attend advanced training outside the department. Additionally, the team competes annually in the Southeastern SWAT Competition in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The ACCPD SRT competed in the 18th Annual Southeast SWAT Competition in Harrisonburg VA to defend its two-time championship. The team competed in 11 events against 15 other SWAT and Special Operations Teams from the east coast. The events test teams' problem-solving abilities, team cohesion, and marksmanship. The ACC SRT took first place in several events and became the only team in the 18-year history of the competition to win the competition three consecutive years.