Special Response Team gets true test

Published 5:15 pm Saturday, July 24, 2010

With a naked gunman holed up inside a room at Colonial Manor and one victim already being treated for a gunshot wound to the chest, Brewton police gathered outside, dressed in bulletproof vests with shotguns ready.

The police department’s Special Response Team had trained for such scenarios every month for at least three years — but Wednesday was the first time they were called into action.

“It was a time when everything paid off,” Police Chief Monte McGougin said. “All my men could go home safe, and we got the suspect alive. It was a hasty situation, but we took our time.”

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The police department put together the SRT team in 2007, and officers on the team train at least eight hours every month.

“Every two weeks, they’re doing something,” McGougin said.

Training scenarios have included everything from school shootings to the kind of situations officers encountered last week.

“This is exactly one of the things they train for,” McGougin said.

But while training was good preparation, it was nothing like the real thing, he said.

“When you can see through the door at someone with a gun and see the splinters flying when he shoots, it’s a different situation,” McGougin said. “(The officers) did an outstanding job.”

Kerry Whipple Bean contributed to this story.