Monett police now has a Special Response Team for the first time since 2000

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MONETT, Mo High-risk situations can now be handled by the Monett police department's Special Response Team, similar to SWAT.

The chief of police says it is filling a need in that area of the Ozarks.

The Monett Police department disbanded their original special response team in 2000. And since then, because there wasn't another squad in the area, they had to wait for help.

"We would have to ask Joplin or Springfield to come help or Highway Patrol and that would usually take over an hour. And when seconds count it is just a little bit long for us." said Monett Police Chief George Daoud.

The response team can handle hostage situations, active shooters, and high-risk search warrants, situations that happen several times a year.

"Our front line officers will respond to the call. And if they can handle it, fine. But if they find that it is beyond their normal capabilities and training and equipment. Then we would be able to send this team in relatively quick fashion to safely handle it." explained Daoud.

The Special Response Team also comes with an armored vehicle. And it is used for all of those critical situations, but also something that the city of Monett faces quite often... flooding.

"Our downtown has flooded several times since I have been here." Daoud said. "It has much better deep water forwarding than our patrol cars. We can actually drive down, pick people up, and get them back without drowning out the vehicle."

They would even be available to help nearby communities with rescue or high-risk situations so that they don't have to wait for Springfield or Joplin.

And although the armored vehicle cost $700,000... Monett police didn't pay for it.

"The Law Enforcement Supply Office and working with the Department of Defense we were able to acquire this maximum protection vehicle. That was surplus, it was already bought and just sitting around not being utilized." Daoud explained. "It really made a big difference when we said we are a rural community and our closest resource is really about an hour, an hour and a half away."

Now the squad is a resource for the area to be able to use, and it was officially activated the first of the year.

The Barry County sheriff's office used to have a similar unit.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.