The Sheriff's Office has maintained a tactical unit for over 40 years. The original team was formed in the mid 1970's and consisted of six officers and was called the S.T.A.R. Team (Special Tactics And Rescue). In 1998, the Northern Michigan Mutual Aid Task Force consisting of Northern Michigan Police Agencies formed the NMMA Emergency Response Team (ERT). The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office is the largest single participant in NMMA ERT. Our agency has 7 members on the specialized tactical response team along with the most participants in the crisis negotiation team with currently 3 negotiators.
Members of our agency ERT train on a regular basis with the NMMA ERT. They train year-round to respond to potentially dangerous situations, including high-risk warrant arrests, hostage situations, barricaded subjects, and armed stand-offs. The ERT also has officers who specialize in particular areas of tactical response, including building breaching, marksmanship, and hostage negotiating, and uses state-of-the-art weapons and vehicle technology, including an array of covert and electronic devices for surveillance, distraction and force deployment.
In 2012, the below commercial was professionally produced for Armor Express, which is a local Northern Michigan company and one of many who we purchase tactical equipment from. The video, which was mostly filmed in Grand Traverse County included actors who are former and current members of our Emergency Response Team. Viewer discretion is advised as parts of the video contain graphic content and may be difficult for some viewers to watch.