Will the Stark County Sheriff's Office be able to join a regional SWAT team?Stark County Sheriff’s Office involvement in the local SWAT team remains up in the air.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
Stark County Sheriff’s Office involvement in the local SWAT team remains up in the air.
Commissioner Duane Wolf said last week at a commission meeting at the Stark County Courthouse that he would like to hear someone from the city say that they want someone from the sheriff’s office on the SWAT team, and it was suggested that a representative of the Dickinson Police Department be at the commission’s February meeting to express interest in the sheriff’s office involvement before the county makes a commitment.
The SWAT team had a meeting with the administration, Sheriff Clarence Tuhy told the commissioners.
He said the team is accepting people that want to put in for the SWAT team, which will be run regionally.
Tuhy said there are some sheriff’s office deputies who are interested in being part of the SWAT team.
“SWAT team training was coming up in Grand Forks and if it’s something we’re going to proceed with, we need to get the ball rolling on it,” he said.
Commissioner Ken Zander said he thought that it had been decided already that the county would not be a participant in the SWAT team.
“A couple years ago, or maybe it was five or 10 years ago, I thought we bought a couple of sniper rifles and I don’t know if those have ever been taken out of the box,” he said.
Tuhy said there was one sniper rifle purchased for the department in 2005.
“There were two (sniper rifles) purchased prior to me taking office and then one purchased in 2005,” he said.
Commissioner Russ Hoff suggested that Tuhy speak further about the sheriff’s office being involved in the SWAT team with Commissioner Jay Elkin, who is the commissioner in charge of handling the sheriff’s office file for the county.
Elkin said he wasn’t sure how much of a necessity it was to have the sheriff’s office involved in the SWAT team.
“We’ve discussed this before, but maybe someone who has been involved in law enforcement would know this better than I do,” Elkin said. “I don’t know if there is truly need for (the sheriff’s office involvement in the SWAT team).”
Commissioner Duane Wolf, who spent 37 years working for the Dickinson Police Department and retired as the chief of police, also questioned whether or not the county wanted to be a part of the SWAT team.
“My thought process when it was brought up already is that there is some discrepancy in regard to your discussion with administration, police and yourself,” he said. “If there is going to be a problem, why do we even bother with it?”
Tuhy thought it might help if a board was setup to oversee the SWAT team like there used to be.
“There was meeting and there hasn’t been a meeting since and that was four or five years ago,” he said.