The Wadena County Sheriff's Office established a SWAT Team in 1990. At that time it was also known as the Emergency Response Unit (ERU). The Team was comprised of Deputies from the Sheriff's Office and Police Officers from surrounding jurisdictions within the county.
In 2002, the Wadena County Sheriff's Office joined with Hubbard County Sheriff's Office to form a 2 county multi- jurisdictional SWAT Team. This Team of SWAT Operators was (and is) made up of Deputies from the Wadena and Hubbard Sheriff's Offices, and Police Officers from Menahga, Sebeka, Wadena, Staples, and Park Rapids Police Departments. The Team is made up of a Team Leader, 2 Assistant Team Leaders, Operators, and a Team Medic.
Team Qualifications & Equipment
The Team has been trained and received certification in the use of firearms, less lethal and chemical munitions deployment and specialized SWAT tactics. A certain number of Operators are certified as sniper/observers. The Team has implemented the use of a K-9, whose handler is also a Team Operator. The Team trains once a month and has to qualify twice a year with their tactical weapons. These qualification are at a higher standard then their required qualifications as a regular Law Enforcement Officer. Their training covers rural as well as urban settings, such as the geographical area they serve and protect.
The Team is equipped with 2 "Peace Keepers" (armored vehicles) and 2 vans that are used to transport equipment and team operators. The vans can also be used as a command center in case of a lengthy operation or for other emergencies, which may develop within the counties as a mobile Emergency Operation Center (EOC).
Since the 2 counties joined, the Team has been used to execute high risk narcotic related search warrants, such as methamphetamine labs and marijuana grows, arrest warrants, hostage rescue, and barricaded armed subjects.