10/23/2007

N.J. special unit rolls out the latest equipment for rapid response

Training includes the use of advanced protective equipment, weapons and breaching tools
 
By ROBERT E. MISSECK
The Star-Ledger 
 
WESTFIELD, N.J. — The old county police headquarters building on North Avenue in Westfield was under siege yesterday, as five police officers in black tactical outfits armed with automatic weapons pulled up in matching SUVs.

Lining up single file behind an officer holding a black shield, the men approached the front door and used special tools to quickly cut the chain holding the door closed from the inside before rushing up the stairs to subdue a man on the second floor.

The incident was only a demonstration, but it showed some of the tactics employed by the new Special Operations Unit of the Union County Police Department, formed and trained eight months ago to improve public safety at county-owned facilities, including the jail, juvenile detention center and courthouse, but now assisting local police with rapid response to emergencies involving firearms.

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