Dec 07, 2016
SCHERERVILLE,IN — The Northwest Regional SWAT Team holds its annual fundraiser Dec. 9 at the Halls of St. George to raise money to buy equipment and provide training for the members.
Donations, including the fundraiser, are the only direct revenue source for the team, whose home departments are required to supply a ballistic vest and rifle and pay for the officer's time on SWAT call-outs. A small amount of funds are also contributed annually from each department of the team.
The Northwest Regional SWAT Team is a multijurisdictional emergency response team comprised of police officers from nine departments in Lake County. They are responsible for the protection of approximately 200,000 residents in an area that is more than 130 square miles. Their mission is to provide those residents with a tactical response to critical incidents defined as, but not limited to: armed suicidal subjects, armed barricaded subjects, hostage situations, sniper situations, high-risk apprehensions, high-risk warrant services, dignitary protection, civil disturbances, disaster assistance, terrorist attacks, special assignments, and any active shooter type incident.
The agencies who are currently part of the team are Merrillville, Schererville, Crown Point, Dyer, Griffith, Hobart, Lake Station, Munster and St. John. The team was formed in 1992 by the Merrillville Police Department and slowly became multijurisdictional with new agencies joining. "We are continuing to grow with new agencies each year," said team member Shane Hendron, a corporal with the Dyer Police Department. The team has 34 police officers who hold different positions including two entry teams, one sniper team, a negotiator team and one breacher team (officers trained in forced entry techniques to defeat structures with fortifications). There is also a medic team that includes one surgeon.
The Northwest Regional SWAT Team will be holding its fourth annual fundraiser on Dec. 9 at the Halls of St. George in Schererville.
To generate revenue from the fundraiser raffle, Hendron said they contacted many local businesses who have provided items at little or no cost that range from gift certificates, firearms, gun safes, power tools, grills, purses, watches, women's makeup and hair items, cigars, high-end alcohol and home decor. All winners of firearms must complete a background check and be legally able to own a firearm. "No firearms will leave that night with the winners," Hendron said.
The Chicago Police Department's Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society will be performing at the event. The Dyer Fraternal Order of Police is hosting the event on behalf of the team. Anyone attending the fundraiser will be eligible for a discounted
ticket to the FOP Policeman's Ball on April 1. That event funds the DARE program as well as scholarships provided to local college-bound students. Tickets for the event, which runs from 5 p.m. to midnight, are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.The cost includes dinner and all-you-can-drink beer. Three Floyds Brewing has donated the beer for the event while other local breweries and liquor stores have also donated craft beer. The team strongly encourages the use of designated drivers and/or Uber services for the event. Parking is limited at the hall.The Halls of St. George is at 905 E. Joliet St.
For more information visit nwregionalswat.com or call team Cmdr. Robert Morgan at (219) 769-3531.