Seacoast Emergency Response Team (SERT)
Welcome to the Seacoast Emergency Response Team web page. Our team is referred to as SERT. Other titles for this type of unit include but are not limited to SWAT, ERT, SRT, and SOU. SERT was formed in 2001 as a regional tactical team when the City of Portsmouth ERT and the Town of Hampton SRT teams merged along with nine other communities in the New Hampshire Seacoast forming the present day configuration of the team. SERT drew from the experiences of these two original teams which consisted of more than 15 years of operational experience to adopt our current team philosophy and procedures. In addition to their normal police duties, team members are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year to respond to critical incidents such as Hostage Situations, Armed Barricaded Suspects, High Risk Warrants, Woodland Searches or any other emergency situation that arises in the Seacoast area. SERT provides a blanket of protection that serves more than 100,000 civilians living within our Seacoast communities.
Who We Are
The Seacoast Emergency Response Team is comprised of 31 highly trained Patrol Officers and Detectives from 11 New Hampshire seacoast police agencies that have been selected to handle incidents that would require operations above and beyond the normal capabilities of regular police functions. The Team selection process begins with a lengthy written test (which covers the history of the team and its structure), a demanding physical fitness test, a firearms qualification course which tests marksmanship in both static and stressful shooting situations, a rigorous obstacle course, and an intensive oral board in front of the entire team. Once selected, the new member is on a probationary status for one year. During this time the new members train to become acclimated with the procedures of the team and attend multiple tactical schools that will prepare them for real world incidents.
Team’s Mission Statement
SERT is committed to the successful resolution of crisis situations by affectively utilizing tactical operations, strategic maneuvering, and calculated responses. A highly well managed team is necessary to ensure the safety of its citizens when emergencies arise. It is the purpose of SERT to provide a trained and disciplined force that will function as a resource to the community it is sworn to protect. Ultimately, SERT will fulfill the promise to guard life and liberty to all citizens while completing each mission.
Currently, SERT trains twice a month, which is the standard set by the National Tactical Officers Association. Each member of the team has a specific duty which includes additional specialty training (entry team, sniper team, gas cadre, stealth search cadre, tactical medic). Every year SERT attends a one week training evolution at Camp Ethan Allen located in Jericho, VT to build on their tactical skills, marksmanship, and team unity. Team members are required to pass a physical fitness test twice a year and must qualify with their firearms regularly to maintain their operational status.
Some members of the team are certified trainers with the NHTOA and attend schools throughout New England, sometimes beyond. In 2005 three of our SERT senior officers traveled to Los Angeles to observe and train alongside LAPD SWAT to enhance their skills and bring them back to teach the rest of the team. During the year, SERT members participate in various SWAT competitions and have traveled to as far as Orlando, FL to compete nationally in the annual SWAT Round-Up. These competitions display the dedication and commitment to excellence that drives our team. Continuous, repetitive training keeps all SERT operators sharp and fluid. In the upcoming months and years SERT will continue to train and remain ready to answer the call when a crisis should arise.