Special Response Team (SRT)

The Special Response Team (SRT) consists of 30 Deputy Sheriffs that provide specialized services in support of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department's mission. The main goal of the SRT is to provide protection and safety for innocent civilians and Law Enforcement personnel while reducing the possibility of injuries or death at high risk incidents. Every SRT Officer has a primary duty in the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, such as; a Road Patrol Officer, School Resource Officer, Investigator, K-9 Officer etc. The Deputy’s assignment to the SRT is voluntary and is an additional responsibility to their normal duties.

Sheriff Lott with the SRT and "The Peacemaker"

Incident Types:
Barricaded Suspects
Hostage Situations
Dignitary Protection
Civil Disturbance
Search & Arrest Warrants
Armed Suspect
Narcotics Raids
Sniper Situation
Anti Terrorism
Duties & Responsibilities:
SRT COMMANDER: The SRT Commander is responsible for All Special Response Teams and oversees all operations and reviews planning and implementation of special response units. Also acts as Incident Commander until relieved by Senior Staff member or the Sheriff. SRT Commander acts as the assistant to the Incident Commander when a senior member is in command. The SRT Commander focuses on setting goals and objectives to improve and maintain mission readiness.

SRT TACTICAL TEAMS LEADER:  The SRT Tactical Teams Leader is responsible for presenting tactical operations for the safe resolution of an incident. Additional responsibilities range from the selection and training of a SRT Officer to maintaining administrative and logistical records.

TEAM LEADER:  The Team Leader is a senior SRT Officer who has been selected to command the entry team in a high risk situation.

TEAM MEMBER:   A Deputy trained in the use of special weapons and tactics who is utilized in various capacities which include: inner perimeter security, building entry and suspect apprehension, hostage rescue, team security, delivery of chemical agents, anti-sniper techniques, and dignitary protection.

SRT MEDICS:  Trained emergency medical technicians trained for tactical situations to provide medical attention to SRT members, innocent civilians and subjects.

TACTICAL SUPPORT:  Members of the Tactical Support element are responsible for the tactical preparation and maintenance of specialized equipment and support of direct tactical operations. 

SNIPER/OBSERVER: The position of the police sniper is one of the most important and most difficult in law enforcement. It encompasses high expectations, high liability, and immense individual responsibility. Such a position requires the very highest in standards for selection, training and utilization. Snipers with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, gather intelligence through stealth and direct visibility. The ability to use lethal force is a tool that maybe necessary to keep innocent people safe.

TECHNICAL SUPPORT / TEAM LEADER: Responsible for the logistical operation of an emergency situation.  The Technical Team Leader is responsible for the initial setup of the Command Post. Organization and communication is the focus of the Technical support Leader.  Deployment of essential equipment such as cameras and plotting of perimeter personnel are just the basic functions and responsibilities. Depending on the type of incident, the Technical Support Leader organizes the Unified Command when the situation requires it.   

BOMB UNIT / TEAM LEADER:  The Bomb Unit’s mission is to assist Law Enforcement agencies when called upon to respond to suspicious or found devices, post blast occurrences or suspicious packages. The Bomb Unit consists of highly trained Sheriff’s Deputy who has received training in federal and state facilities.  They have state of the art equipment, which consists of a fully equipped bomb truck with a bomb retention vessel and other sophisticated equipment e.g. a radio controlled robot, metal detector, listening devices, x-ray equipment and a water cannon.


1Lt. Ricky Ezzell
SRT Commander
Email Lt. Ezzell
About Lt. Ezzell

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5623 Two Notch Road 
Columbia, South Carolina 29223 
(803) 576-3000 phone (803) 576-3195 fax

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